Heidi Mendoza

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Heidi Mendoza

Heidi Mendoza is a former Commission on Audit (COA) accountant and has also worked at the Asian Development Bank. Her name is currently in the news after she revealed that her former boss, former COA chairman Guillermo Carague, told her to go easy on the investigation being done on the corruption case filed against former military comptroller Carlos Garcia.


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Early life and career

Mendoza is a public accountant that specializes in the field of audit, investigation, and fraud examination. She is a member of the board of advisers of “Ehem!”, an anti-corruption program based in the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government (ASoG). She has worked as a resource person for the Affiliated Network on Social Accountability—East Asia Pacific, which is also based in ASoG.

AFP Scam controversy

Heidi Mendoza was assigned at the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff in Malacañang as head of the financial investigation and transparency group that was conducting a lifestyle check on government officials before she was assigned to lead an 11-member team from the Commission on Audit that was assigned to look into military deals including the soldiers’ pension fund, Balikatan fund, United Nations fund, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Fund. She later testified on allegedly suspicious transactions which involves Garcia and his family, who were charged with a P303-million plunder case.

In her statement to the House of Representatives, Mendoza said that she found a voucher for a P200 million check signed by former military comptroller Carlos Garcia. She said that it was a Land Bank check which was encashed in November 2002 in the United Coconut Planters BankAlfaro branch in Makati City. She has uncovered irregularities that included missing funds in millions of pesos and US dollars. She said that P50 million were taken from the P200-million United Nations (UN) fund representing reimbursement for peacekeeping operation expenses, and another USD5 million representing UN reimbursement for equipment.

She was described by then Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo as the “next Clarissa Ocampo” who stood as witness against former President Joseph Estrada during the impeachment trial in 2001.

Mendoza was supported by various individuals including the netizens, the clergy, legislators, the justice secretary, and the President. 20 Catholic bishops praised her for she risked the security of her life and her family. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago hopes that her revelations together with those of former military budget officer George Rabusa, should get the wheels turning since the case in the Sandiganbayan is now the subject of a pending plea bargain agreement allowing Garcia to post bail and walk out of jail. Before Mendoza's allegations, military officer George Rabusa earlier disclosed the military tradition of giving tens of millions of pesos from a slush fund to Armed Forces chiefs of staff and other top military officials. Mendoza is temporarily placed under the Department of Justice's Witness Protection Program


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