De Lima on alleged P2.4-B pork: Arroyo shows she has not changed
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila De Lima on Friday said the alleged P2.4-billion “pork barrel” allotted to House Speaker Gloria Arroyo’s district shows that the former president, whose administration as president was marred with corruption allegations during her stay in Malacañang, has not changed after all.
In a statement, De Lima stressed that the alleged insertions in the 2019 budget “comes as no surprise,” considering Arroyo’s history of corruption.
“It is scandalous and shameless, but hardly a surprise. We do not expect anything less from Speaker Arroyo who, during her rule as President, was known for putting self-interest above public service,” De Lima said.
“The endless string of corruption investigations and plunder inquiries that plagued her administration is legendary. In granting her district a lion’s share of the pork in the 2019 budget, Arroyo shows us that she has not changed,” she added.
Earlier, Senator Panfilo Lacson disclosed that a male lawmaker from Camarines Sur and the second district of Pampanga represented by Arroyo cornered the lion’s share of congressional insertions under the General Appropriations Bill for next year.
“Arroyo’s short stint as House Speaker will be remembered the same way as her presidency, one that is driven by self-interest,” De Lima said.
“Arroyo has led the House approval for charter change that removes term limits, including her own,” she added.
“She has pushed for deals with the Chinese government, in the hope of continuing her own dalliance with China that, in the past, would have been personally rewarding if not for the expose’ on the NBN-ZTE scandal,” De Lima, who has been detained at the PNP Custodial Center for drug charges, said.
De Lima also took a swipe at Arroyo’s participation in the withdrawal of the country from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, after it came out with resolutions citing the political persecution of opposition senators.
“In so far as Arroyo is concerned, and for other dynastic trapos in our midst, this is what everything boils down to power at the service of one’s self, rather than the public,” she said.
“This is what she strived to be in power for all this time, then as President, and now as House Speaker. The P2.4 billion is her reward to herself for getting back to power,” she added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.