Lagman denies getting ‘pork’ in 2019 budget
Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman on Tuesday belied claims that he was among those congressmen who benefited from the “P55-billion insertions” in the proposed 2019 budget.
“I never lobbied for any project,” he told reporters in an interview when asked about claims that P1.29 billion was allocated to his district.
“I have no participation whatsoever in the allocation of funds or the funding of projects as contained in the President’s National Expenditure Program (NEP),” he added in a statement.
Lagman even found it ironic that he, an opposition lawmaker, would receive such an amount after he got zero infrastructure budget in 2018 under former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s term.
He added that the NEP was supposed to be solely prepared by the Executive Department, more particularly the Department of Budget and Management.
“Unless there are intruders, of whom I am presently unaware of, whose intervention or interference has been accommodated,” he stressed.
Lagman also urged the House leadership to shed light on the issue once and for all.
“To my mind, people are not hiding anything and they are transparent about these subjects then there would be less squabbles and problems. Somebody must have been holding on some budgetary secrets, which should be deciphered in the plenary,” he added.
Committee on appropriations chair, Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles has denied that the committee report on the 2019 budget which he had approved contained P55-billion worth of “inserted” appropriations.
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. meanwhile said there were complaints coming from some House members of “misplaced appropriations” which they wanted to investigate.
The slated House plenary debates on the proposed P3.757-trillion 2019 budget were stalled on Monday due to a conflict among several lawmakers and claims of said “insertions” in the budget of some lawmakers.
Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday insinuated that an attempt to slash the 2019 national budget of some P55 billion in “pork” had prompted the conflict. /cbb
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