Palace: Duterte ‘is keeping’ Diokno amid budget mess allegations
MANILA, Philippines–President Rodrigo Duterte “is keeping” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Malacañang said Tuesday after allegations of budget insertions and questionable allocations were thrown against the Cabinet official.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the allegations against Diokno over alleged insertions and questionable allocations were “totally baseless.”
“Certainly, the President is keeping him. The confidence and the trust… The confidence and the trust remain. The reputation of Secretary Diokno is solid,” Panelo said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
The Palace official said Diokno has been in government service for 32 years but has not been tainted with a “whiff of corruption.”
“[N]ot a whiff of corruption. Not any allegation at all. It’s only now. And even the allegations are baseless. He does not have anything to do with the allocations of the budget. In other words, it’s totally baseless,” he said.
He said the corruption charges against Diokno are “baseless.”
The House earlier adopted a resolution House Resolution No. 2365, urging the President to reconsider the appointment of Diokno.
Lawmakers have slammed Diokno for the alleged P75-billion insertions in the 2019 national budget and some questionable allocations on flood control projects.
Diokno, during the “question hour” at the House of Representatives on December 11, clarified that it should not be called “insertions” because “it’s part of the budget process.” /jpv
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