Legarda sides with Diokno, says he is ‘a man of integrity’
MANILA, Philippines — Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno is a man of integrity and his competence is unquestionable.
Senator Loren Legarda said this on Thursday as she stood by Diokno amid calls from lawmakers for President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his appointment over issues hounding the proposed 2019 national budget.
“Even in his previous stints in government, he has been known for introducing reforms that would enhance transparency and improve the efficiency of government service,” Legarda, chair of Senate committee on finance, said in a statement.
Legarda issued the remark after the House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted Resolution 2365 urging Duterte to reconsider Diokno’s appointment.
This came after Diokno was grilled in Congress in relation to the alleged irregularities in the proposed P3.757-trillion budget next year.
Lawmakers claimed that Diokno failed to address the issue on the P75-billion allocation in the proposed budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
However, Legarda, who has been working with the embattled Budget chief not only on the annual national budget but also on proposed measures to reform the budget system, said Diokno has “proven that he is a no-nonsense man and an honest public servant.”
“I firmly believe in Secretary Diokno’s integrity and in his capability to carry out reforms and introduce programs that would ensure equitable, inclusive, resilient and sustainable growth for our country. He has my full support,” the senator added.
Earlier, Malacañang said that Diokno still enjoys the full trust and confidence of the President amid the alleged “executive pork insertions.”
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte considers Diokno as “one of the best and brightest in his official family” with a reputation of an “upright, competent and honest public servant.” /ee
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