TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte—Rep. Neil Benedict Montejo of the An Waray partylist expressed shock over the inclusion of his name in the so-called pork barrel scam.
Montejo told the Inquirer that the project involving P14.2 million taken from his Priority Development Assistant Fund benefitted the intended beneficiaries.
“I actually and personally handed the project to the farmer-beneficiaries,” he said. “I don’t mess around.”
“We followed the menu, what is allowed by the Department of Budget and Management and the DA (Department of Agriculture), particularly in this issue,” Montejo added. “That is why, I was shocked when I saw my name involved on this issue.”
Montejo was among the eight representatives identified as the source of P89.2 million in pork barrel funds that were allegedly released by the Department of Agriculture to ghost projects.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer report, whistle blower Merlina P. Suñas implicated Montejo, among others, with P14.2 million taken from his PDAF (P5 million WARO BMB-G11-T000000573, April 29, 2011 and P9.2 million Saro G-11-T000000085, Nov. 17. 2011).
Montejo said he hoped the agriculture department would issue a statement clearing his name.
“It is the DA that is the implementing agency. It is the DA that identified the non-government organization. The DA and my office just entered into an agreement,” Montejo said.
Montejo is now serving his third and last term under the An Waray party-list group.