Diokno ‘not allowed’ to attend House probe on ‘pork insertions’
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno has not been “allowed” to attend the House of Representatives’ probe on alleged “pork insertions” in the 2019 national budget.
Diokno himself disclosed this in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s morning show, Headstart, on Monday.
“I’m not allowed to attend,” he said without saying where the instruction came from.
“Because what do they want from me? To say that I don’t know these people? Then I’ll just issue an affidavit. I don’t know these people,” he went on.
He was referring to two construction firm — the CT Leoncio Construction and Trading, and the Aremar Construction — tagged as the “favored” contractor of the DBM.
Asked if the administration is now reviving Executive Order No. 464 which prohibits a Cabinet member from attending congressional inquiries without the President’s permission, Diokno said: “They are actually studying the same EO.”
“And my understanding is we will not be allowed to (attend the congressional inquiries),” he said.
EO 464 was issued by then President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005. She revoked her directive in 2008.
The House plans to summon Diokno in its hearing slated in Naga City on January 3 next year in connection with “favored” contractors and the P75 billon alleged “insertion” he supposedly made in the 2019 budget.
But Diokno had repeatedly denied the allegations. /je
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