For withholding her pork barrel, Magsaysay plans to file charges vs AbadBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—Zambales Representative Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay is eyeing to file a case against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad who admitted responsibility for her withheld pork barrel.
Magsaysay, who was enraged and was close to tears when Abad said that the buck stopped with him in deciding to freeze her district’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (popularly known as pork barrel), said that she and her lawyers were studying their options.
She said she was determined to fight for her PDAF, pointing out that her constituents paid taxes and needed her pork barrel to help fund medical assistance and scholarships
Aside from Magsaysay, other lawmakers whose PDAF have been withheld were Ang Galing Pinoy Partylist Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo, and Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco.
The Arroyos are children of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was recently freed on bail for a pending case on electoral sabotage. Syjuco was director general of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) during the Arroyo administration and is facing multi-billion plunder case.
Magsaysay said that she has spoken to the Camarines Sur lawmaker who expressed interest in her plan to lodge a case against Abad.
Citing Abad’s agreement that the General Appropriations Act becomes a law once ratified by Congress, the Zambales Representative said that it was clear coming from the budget secretary himself that withholding certain lawmakers’ pork barrel was a violation of that law.
She said that Abad’s actions showed how the present administration was barring the release of certain lawmakers’ pork barrel out of “whim, arrogance.”
The GAA includes all districts in the country, she said.
When asked why her PDAF has been withheld for two years now, Abad said that it was due to “political realities”, added Magsaysay.