Andaya to Diokno: Be man enough to explain anomalies
MANILA, Philippines — House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. on Friday urged Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno to be “man enough” to explain his alleged involvement on “questionable allocations and practices.”
Andaya said the House Committee on Rules has sent Diokno a formal invitation to attend in the resumption of its probe on Monday, Jan. 21.
“As DBM top honcho, Sec. Diokno should be man enough to explain the anomalous allocations and questionable practices, which the House panel uncovered in the course of the investigation,” Andaya said in a statement.
“Instead of sending his Undersecretary and other senior DBM officials for grilling by congressmen, Sec. Diokno should be the one doing the explaining. He is the top decision maker in the department, and the buck stops with him,” he added.
Andaya noted how Diokno “finally admitted” in media interviews that the DBM implemented projects of almost P200 billion.
The House Majority Leader said that the House panel would show that the DBM earned billions from the anomalous transactions. He noted that the money were unaccounted for, according to the Commission on Audit.
“Now we have half the truth. We just need to chip away at the half lie,” Andaya said.
The House panel is also inviting the executive director of DBM Procurement Service (DBM-PS), Bingle Gutierrez, who provided the information and official documents on the P198 billion contracts bidded out to DBM in 2018.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assitant Secretary for Procurement Atty. Giovanni Lopez was also invited “since P168 billion of these contracts were lodged at the Department of Transportation,” Andaya said.
Other DOTr officials were also invited specifically the officials of Philippine National Railways, Manila International Airport Authority, Light Rail Transit Authority, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard and Land Transportation Office.
The president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) Dave Almarinez and its vice president Ma. Victoria Magcase were also invited in the House panel hearing. /muf
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