MANILA, Philippines –Senate Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada called on President Benigno Aquino III’s known allies in the Senate to take a stand on the additional government funds that were being given to senators every year.
These are known as MOOE, which stands for maintenance and other operating expenses.
“I call on the four LP [Liberal Party] senators to reveal their position on allegations made by an anonymous colleague that SP Enrile committed an ‘unconscionable’ and ‘unconstitutional’ act by realigning the Senate’s savings and converting it to MOOE,” Estrada said in an interview on Friday.
“Hopefully their opinion will reflect Malacanang’s genuine position on the matter,” he added.
The four LP members in the Senate are Senators Franklin Drilon, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Teofisto Guingona III, and Ralph Recto.
Aquino belongs to LP.
The MOOE became controversial when Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile gave 18 senators an additional P1.6 million each in December 2012 except for his four known foes in the Senate.
The four are Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Pia Cayetano and Antonio “Sonny” Triallnes IV.
The P1.6 million MOOE was the balance of the total P2.2 million alloted for each senator last year.
The first tranche of P600,000 was given to all 23 senators.
The remaining balance was given in December 2012 to only 18 senators.