THE COMMISSION on Audit’s (CoA) chairman, whose nomination was confirmed on Wednesday, vowed to audit coronavirus vaccine purchases of the Health department.

The agency is not bound by confidentiality agreements signed by the Department of Health (DoH) and vaccine suppliers, national auditor Gamaliel A. Cordoba told lawmakers of the Commission on Appointments.

“We will demand these,” he said at his appointment hearing, referring to vaccine purchase documents.

Mr. Cordoba said former Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III had turned down auditors’ request for documents, citing the nondisclosure agreements.

A special audit had also been required by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank under a loan deal for coronavirus vaccine purchases, he said.

“We might have to issue a notice of suspension and go through the process of [budget] disallowance,” Mr. Cordoba said. One of the legal processes could also include a subpoena.

He was answering questions from Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” N. Hontiveros-Baraquel, who asked CoA to immediately subpoena the vaccine contracts.

“Under the Constitution, you have a mandate to conduct the audit,” she told Mr. Cordoba. “Isn’t the nondisclosure agreement infringing the Constitution?”

At the appointment hearing, Senator Francis N. Tolentino complained that state audit reports were allegedly being used to harass public officials.

“CoA reports should really be seen as a tool for good governance and not just a means or weapon for harassment,” he said.

Mr. Cordoba served as National Telecommunications commissioner for more than a decade before President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. appointed him CoA chief, replacing Jose C. Calida who resigned.

The congressional body approved the appointment of Mr. Cordoba and Migrant Workers Secretary Susan V. Ople. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan