Diokno belies Andaya’s ‘bribery’ claims; says it’s ‘wild, baseless’
MANILA, Philippines–Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno branded as “baseless” the fresh accusation of House Approriations committee chair and Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. that he tried to “buy” and “bribe” the House of Representatives with an amount of P40 billion in order for the lawmakers to “shut up” regarding the P75 billion reported insertion.
“False. Another wild and baseless accusation,” Diokno told INQUIRER.net in a text message when sought for his reaction.
Sought for comment, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo refused to issue a statement and let Diokno answer the allegations.
In a Palace briefing, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said President Rodrigo Duterte still has “full faith and confidence” in Diokno.
“Basically, the President trusts and believes in Diokno. He has full faith and confidence in Bduget Secreatry Diokno. He leaves it up to Secreratry Diokno to do what is necessary and what is right in the matter of whatever spending or whatever office,” Nograles said.
He said the bribery allegations againts Diokno were “serious” but said the administration does not resort to bribing.
“Well, these are very serious allegations and we expect Secretary Diokno to answer these allegations, and we, in the Cabinet certainly, and in the adminostration of President Duterte, we do not resort to things like bribing,” he said.
“The accusation is heavy. I hope it can be addresed immediately,” he added.
The Palace official said it should be Diokno “who should be answering those allegations point by point and it will be up to him in what forum he will answer those allegations.”
“So we trust Secretary Diokno enough to do what is right,” he said.