Palace: Let Congress explain ‘hidden pork’
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday distanced itself from allegations that “pork barrel” funds were still being made available to lawmakers, after a fourth impeachment complaint was “filed” against President Benigno Aquino III.
“I think that’s a matter that should best be addressed by Congress,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a televised press briefing.
“There were certain allegations that there was closed-door. We’re not familiar with that closed-door proceeding. So we would rather let Congress or the House of Representatives speak on that,” he added.
Complainants of the fourth impeachment complaint said they had audio recordings of Commission on Higher Education (Ched) chairperson Patricia Licuanan and Department of Health Undersecretary Janet Garin who said lawmakers had allotted funds with their agencies.
The petitioners of the fourth impeachment rap submitted the CD of the audio recording with the complaint.
He said lawmakers received P14 million in scholarship allotments with Ched and P10 million in medical assistance under the DOH.
In August 2013, amid the pork barrel scam issue, President Benigno Aquino III said it was time to abolish the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Three months after, the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional.
“All informal practices of similar import and effect, which the Court similarly deems to be acts of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of discretion,” the high court said of the lump sum fund.
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