THE Commission on Audit (COA) has junked the motion for reconsideration filed by Monetary Board member Peter B. Favila and former MB member Armando L. Suratos seeking reversal of a 2019 ruling on their receipt of unauthorized cash benefits from 2005 to 2010.
The assailed ruling affirmed the Notice of Disallowance issued against the payment of P4.54 million cash benefits to ex-officio members of the Board of Directors of the Trade and Investments Corporation of the Philippines (Tidcorp).
COA chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc declared there was no legal basis to the grant of benefits and allowances to Tidcorp’s ex-officio board members.
They invoked the Supreme Court pronouncements in the 2004 case of the National Amnesty Commission vs. COA reiterating the prohibition in the Constitution against compensation for an ex-officio position.
Under the said ruling, the ex-officio position is part of the public official’s principal office hence he has no right to receive additional pay for his services.
“Thus, even if they are no members of the Cabinet, movants are still not entitled to the allowances and benefits subject of the disallowance,” the COA said.
Held liable together with Favila and Suratos were former Bangko Sentral governors Amando M. Tetangco and the late Nestor A. Espenilla and MB member Alberto Reyes.
In his appeal, Favila argued that he received the benefit and allowances in good faith noting that the extra compensation was authorized by a board resolution and the Tidcorp Charter.
On the other hand, Suratos asserted that being non-members of the Cabinet, the rule against additional compensation does not apply to them.
“This Commission is not persuaded. Movant’s arguments are mere rehash of those already raised in their petition for review and memorandum of appear. Without prior approval from the President and being clear circumvention of the law, the subject allowances remain illegal and irregular,” the COA said.