Law­mak­ers de­fend Ar­royo, deny ‘pork in­ser­tions’

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

HOUSE Ma­jor­ity Leader Rolando An­daya Jr. on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 7, de­fended House Speaker Glo­ria Ma­ca­pa­gal-Ar­royo from ac­cu­sa­tions that the bulk of the al­leged “in­ser­tions” in the pro­posed 2019 bud­get went to a district in Pam­panga that she rep­re­sents.

An­daya, in a press con­fer­ence on Fri­day, said Ar­royo’s district ranked about 100th among the con­gres­sional dis­tricts which re­ceived huge al­lo­ca­tions for 2019.

On Mon­day, Se­na­tor Pan­filo Lac­son in­formed the Se­nate of al­leged anoma­lous al­lo­ca­tions, which he called “pork”, that went to cer­tain dis­tricts from Ca­marines Sur and Pam­panga.

He said the al­lo­ca­tion for Ca­marines Sur bal­looned to P1.9 bil­lion from P360 mil­lion and the al­lo­ca­tion for Pam­panga in­creased to P2.2 bil­lion from P726 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to Lac­son, the dis­cre­tionary funds were in­serted even af­ter the ap­proval of the pro­posed 2019 bud­get on se­cond read­ing.

“I’d just like to clar­ify yung mga news re­ports na lumal­abas re­gard­ing the cer­tain al­lo­ca­tions of two rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Diret­suhin na po natin I think the per­sons re­ferred to are the Speaker and my­self na lumal­abas na na­palaki ng al­lo­ca­tion na bini­gay sa mga dis­trito,” An­daya said.

“Just to clar­ify ang al­lo­ca­tion ng at­ing speaker, she’s ac­tu­ally ranked about 100. Around 99 con­gress­men na mas malaki po ang al­lo­ca­tion sa kani­lang dis­trito,” he added.

He re­fused to iden­tify these law­mak­ers but said that the top district got P8 bil­lion.

Asked if it is a district in Davao, the home­town of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, he an­swered in jest: “[It’s in the] Philip­pines.”

An­daya fur­ther clar­i­fied that his district ranked 186th among the other dis­tricts in terms of bud­get al­lo­ca­tions.

He said Ar­royo does not have a hand in the sup­posed in­ser­tions for her district. He said it was the small group tasked to dis­cuss the in­di­vid­ual amend­ments to the pro­posed 2019 bud­get which placed the gen­er­ous amount with the Speaker’s district.

An­daya is among the mem­bers of the said com­mit­tee, along with House com­mit­tee on ap­pro­pri­a­tions act­ing chair Maria Car­men Zamora, Mi­nor­ity Leader Danilo Suarez and Al­bay Rep. Ed­cel Lag­man, aside from oth­ers.

“Para mak­laro lang na hindi ganoon ang nang­yari, hindi nga po pinaya­gan ng at­ing speaker na galawin yung al­lo­ca­tion na yan dahil nai­intindi­han din niya na may pan­gan­gailan­gan ang at­ing kasama­han.”

“Pero yun nga yung small group na­pansin nga na na­pakaliit ng rank­ing ng at­ing speaker. Sig­uro sa kani­lang ka­gan­da­hang loob, sin­ubuhan ni­lang ipan­tay doon sa al­lo­ca­tion nila na pala­gay ko hang­gang ngayon mas malaki pa rin ang alokasyon nila kesa sa at­ing speaker,” An­daya said.

“Yun na nga e, hindi nam­ing hiningi pero ni­la­gay doon, in-ap­prove ng ple­naryo… ” An­daya fur­ther added.

Zamora also de­nied Lac­son’s claims ear­lier. “I don’t agree na nabuhu­san ng proyekto ang dis­trito ng Pam­panga be­cause ga­nun pa rin kung ano ang nasa NEP. Al­most the same lang na­man. Walang ga­nung kalak­ing pinag­bago,” she said in a press con­fer­ence Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 6.

Ac­cord­ing to Zamora, there is around P1.4 bil­lion al­lo­cated for Ar­royo’s district as pro­posed by the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­way (DPWH) un­der the NEP. She said the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ver­sion in­creased it by only P500 mil­lion for a to­tal of P1.9 bil­lion.

“Based dun sa records namin, I think, if you’re re­fer­ring to the district of the Speaker, the pro­posal based on NEP is nasa around P1.4-Bil­lion, and in the GAB (Gen­eral Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Bill) 3rd Read­ing hindi na­man siya nag-in­crease ng so­brang laki as al­leged by… ”

“Based dun sa at­ing nakita, based on the rec­om­men­da­tion also on the re­align­ment ng DPWH nasa in­crease natin ng mga 500.”

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