MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson admitted on Wednesday receiving P300,000 in additional funds from the office of Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile but denied that it was a bribe.
“I just checked with my chief of staff. He said our office did receive P300,000 additional MOOE from the office of the SP [Senate President],” Lacson said in a text message.
MOOE stands for maintenance and other operating expenses.
“It is what it is – MOOE. It was not a bribe,” he said.
“I do not receive bribe money, even lobby money from any interest groups or from anyone even if he is our senate president,” he further said.
Lacson, according to the report of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, was one of 18 senators, who allegedly received an additional P1.6M MOOE from Enrile’s office last month.
The report said only four senators – Alan and Pia Cayetano, Joker Arroyo and Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV – allegedly received P250,000 additional MOOE.
Asked if he had knowledge of any senator who received P1.6 million or higher than his additional budget, Lacson said: “I don’t know. I can only speak for myself because that’s as far as I know.”