Lacson details ‘pork to pork realignment’ in House
MANILA, Philippines — From allies of the former leadership of the House of Representatives, “pork” allocations had been allegedly transferred to lawmakers allied with the incumbent House leadership.
That is what Senator Panfilo Lacson called “pork to pork” realignment.
Lacson detailed the “pork to pork” realignment when he discussed in an interview at the ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday the P75 billion added to the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) even without the agency’s knowledge.
The senator, during budget deliberations in the Senate, moved to have the P75 billion deleted from the DPWH’s budget.
After doing “some forensic” study of the P75 billion, Lacson said they were able to trace where the fund had been earmarked.
He said P20 billion was equally distributed to 297 members of the House of Representatives, each getting P60 million, while some P31 billion went to local government support fund, farm to market road projects, and other pet projects of lawmakers allied with House leadership.
“Ang naiwan lang sa DPWH, P7 billion. ‘Yun ang kinapa namin and we found out na meron ngang mga lomobo from allocations to some congressmen allied with the former leadership. Napunta na ngayon sa mga congressmen na allied naman sa new leadership,” he said.
Lacson noted the alleged huge allocations to a legislative district in Pampanga, Camarines Sur, Surigao del Sur, and Bohol.
Asked who was the representative in Surigao del Sur, the senator said: “Most probably si Butch Pichay.”
“And then may napunta sa Bohol, so most probably kay Art Yap. So ito naman yung malalapit naman sa bagong liderato.”
Congressman Arthur Yap is the representative of the 3rd district of Bohol.
“That’s what I described as pork to pork realignment. So nanggaling sa pork from the previous leadership, napunta sa pork sa bagong leadership. We want to correct that,” Lacson.
While Congress can amend the budget bill, the senator said it must be done in consultation with implementing agencies.
Lacson said P75 billion adjustment in the DPWH was already “beyond recognition.”
“We can’t recognize anymore the P75 billion adjustment, wala na yun. It has been mangled already during the deliberations or during the amendments sa House of Representatives.”
“Hindi nyo na makilala, beyond recognition na yung P75 billion. We can only find it in the GAB (General Appropriation Bill) 2, or the House version that was transmitted to the Senate,” he added. /je
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