“Ang COA ang tanod sa salaping bayan; Katulong at gabay sa pag-unlad ng ating lipunan”. This is what we as COANs are constantly reminded of as we sing our COA Hymn. It is not an easy feat to have these words to live by day after day, yet, two COA Region VI Auditors have shown that it can be done. They have shown the courage to complete their tasks even amidst adversities and uncertainties with full resolve to achieve our mandate as an institution.
On May 6, 2021, during the Commission on Audit’s 122nd Founding Anniversary celebration, Ms. Diorelyn P. Meñez and Ms. Geraldine F. Hibaler of COA Regional Office VI bagged one of the most esteemed awards given by the Commission on Audit Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (COA PRAISE) committee and were given recognition and honor for their dedication to their duties.
Ms. Diorelyn P. Meñez is a State Auditor III, currently assigned as Audit Team Leader of NGS Cluster 5-A. She has been with COA for 23 years and is married to a fellow COAn, Atty. Walter Meñez. They are blessed with two children – Jerianne Mari & Johann Enrico. She is described by her colleagues as a sweet and bubbly Audit Team Leader. Her simple demeanor is grounded on her deep sense of dedication, independence, and duty to her chosen calling in the field of public service. Testament to this is the accolade she has received in the performance of her work.
During the 102nd COA Anniversary celebration last May 7, 2001, she was recognized by COA RO VI for her vigilance as part of the Audit Team who discovered a substantial shortage on the cash and accounts of an Accountable Officer (AO) of Register of Deeds, Roxas City. It led to the filing of a case against the erring public official and her eventual dismissal from the service. When she was assigned as Staff of Roxas City Auditor’s Office she also discovered a cash shortage on the cash and accounts of the Brgy. Treasurer of Brgy. Libas, Roxas City. The accountable officer pleaded guilty to the case. \
Ms. Geraldine F. Hibaler is a State Auditor II, Audit Team Member, and currently assigned at LGS-C- Province of Capiz. She has been with the Commission for 36 years now. The kind and considerate auditor is married to Mr. Joven D. Hibaler and is blessed with a son, Jan Maverick. Her colleagues see her as very dedicated and meticulous. She is a silent worker, though the work of her hands has indeed made a noise.
She was also a member of the Audit Team who discovered a cash shortage on the cash and accounts of the AO of the Provincial Treasurer’s Office, Province of Capiz, which led to the filing of appropriate charges. The AO was made to return the amount of cash shortage to the coffers of the government while the case is ongoing.
True to their sworn duties as “ Tanod sa Salaping Bayan ”, these two COANs have never hesitated to call out erring public servants and hold them accountable. Lots of workloads, targets, and deadlines to beat did not hinder them. Just like all of us, they also had to face the anxiety brought about by the voluminous work and preparation that comes with the filing of cases. In addition, being presented as witnesses in the court and facing the judges and lawyers hearing the case is another challenge that most of us dread. But amidst all these, these two women stayed true to their core and did what must be done, persistently upholding their values and never compromising their integrity.
Indeed, all their hard work has never gone unnoticed as they were recognized as an Audit Team with Outstanding Audit Report in 2020 Search for Outstanding COA Official and Employees in the recently concluded COA PRAISE award ceremonies for their discovery of a cash shortage by the Municipal Treasurer of the Municipality of President Roxas, Capiz. The defendant fully restituted the amount of shortage and requested the Court that he is willing to plead guilty for a lesser offense. The Court referred the matter to the Ombudsman and the latter agreed to the proposal. The RTC issued its ruling on the case and found the defendant to be guilty. The defendant did not appeal the Court’s decision.
It is noteworthy to mention that this award was also made possible through the guidance and efforts of their former Audit Team Leader, Ms. Imelda A. Bernales, who could have shared with them this honor had she not retired from government service in December 31, 2013.
May the example of these brave COANs serve as inspiration for the younger generation of auditors. Times might be constantly changing and the gap between generations may be vast, but let us take the words of these two exemplary auditors in mind, especially amid adversities in our audit work; “ The work of an Auditor is not easy. We have to face many difficulties, stress, and anxieties in the course of doing our job. At times, we may encounter adversaries but that’s part of being an Auditor. Just do what you think is right and just and always pray for guidance and enlightenment in everything you do. ”
“Kaya tayong taga-COA; Sana'y maging tunay na lingkod bayan; At hindi dapat masindak; Kahit sa tukso't bantang ating hinaharap”. May all of us remain faithful and true to our calling as public servants, even in adversities as what our two fellow COANs, whom we honor now, have done.
We would like to thank our respective families for the love and support given to us and to COA for giving us the opportunity to serve the Commission and our country. We would like also to thank the previous and present Regional Directors of COA RO6 ( RD Reyes, RD Labrague, RD Peñaranda), ARD Tavarro, all SAs/ ORSAs/ Service Chiefs, special thanks to Atty.Gileo Alojado ( for the legal assistance ), our COA Capiz family and most especially God for everything.
-Meñez ; Hibaler
WCC-Mayber Amour Darroca