COA appeals for speedy justice for murdered Maguindanao auditor

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    THE Commission on Audit (COA) yesterday pressed for the speedy resolution of the case of auditor Guiaria Bagundang Akmad, who was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Cotabato City last January 10.

    In a statement, the COA said the murder of Akmad highlighted the danger that state auditors are facing while doing their work of ensuring that government resources are used properly.

    “We strongly condemn the killing of COA auditor Guiria Bagundang Akmad. We urge the authorities to act swiftly on the case and conduct an impartial investigation so that perpetrators may be brought to justice,” the statement read.

    At the time of her death, Akmad was the supervising auditor of Maguindanao province, which is under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

    Akmad was part of the audit team that reviewed the transactions of the Maguindanao provincial government, including the last term of the late governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.

    The year Esmael Mangudadatu, now Maguindanao congressman, became governor in 2010, Akmad became audit team leader and went on to become supervising auditor.

    Akmad had just left work and was on her way home with her husband when their vehicle was peppered with bullets by motorcycle-riding men. She was killed on the spot.

    “The nature of the work of our auditors exposes them to risks to their safety but this has not and shall not deter us from doing our constitutional duty,” the COA added.

    Agency officials and employees appealed for public support to government auditors and their families.

    “We ask the public to pray for the family of auditor Akmad, and for the safety of our auditors and for their steadfast courage and integrity,” it appealed.

    Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu described Akmad as “a person of principle and integrity whose dedication and love for her family and work is beyond question.”

    He said the murder of the auditor is an indication of rising violence and disorder in Maguindanao.