In detention, Arroyo hasn’t lost her taste for ‘pork’



Former President and now Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: Still getting her pork barrel from Aquino administration. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—She may have lost her freedom, but not her “pork.”

Detained former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo continues to get her share of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) under the Aquino administration, which has been pushing for her conviction in separate cases of plunder and electoral sabotage.

Now on her second term as Pampanga representative, Arroyo has received a total of P175 million in PDAF, the official name of the pork barrel, since President Aquino, replaced her in 2010, records of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) show.

But her two sons—Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo and former Ang Galing Pinoy Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo—are not as fortunate under the present administration.

Mikey Arroyo got zero PDAF allocation from 2011 to 2013, and Dato Arroyo received no allocation in the last two years. There was no record on the DBM website of the latter receiving his pork barrel this year.

Members of the House are each allocated P70 million in PDAF every year.

The brothers’ mother, detained since 2011, received a total of P30.8 million in “new appropriation” that year. Her biggest share came the following year with a combined amount of P109.2 million in “continuing” and “new” appropriations.

This year, P35 million, or half of her annual pork barrel, has been released to the former President.

With her only son left in Congress not getting his PDAF, Arroyo allocated the biggest slice of her pork barrel this year for his congressional district.

DBM records showed she earmarked P2.1 million in “financial assistance for indigent patients of the second district of Camarines Sur” at the Bicol Medical Center.

Another P1 million was allocated for a scholarship program for “400 indigent students” in her son’s congressional district. The district’s poor patients at the Bicol Sanitarium also received P400,000 from the ex-President’s PDAF this year.

The rest of Arroyo’s PDAF was set aside mostly for Pampanga’s second district where she won a second congressional term despite being detained at Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

The fund was set aside for road construction and for assisting poor patients and students.

Last year, DBM records showed she earmarked at least P6.5 million of her PDAF for the enrollment of second-district residents in the National Health Insurance Program.

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