Andaya to Panelo: ‘Talk to Diokno’ about ‘dark secrets lurking in DBM’
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo should talk to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno about “dark secrets lurking in the Department of Budget and Management (DBM),” House appropriations panel chair Rolando Andaya Jr. said Monday.
“Sec. Panelo better talk to Sec. Diokno, man-to-man. Maraming siyang sikreto na hindi nalalaman tungkol sa DBM. It is time for Sec. Diokno to inform Malacañang about the dark secrets lurking in the DBM,” the Camarines Sur 1st district congressman said in a statement.
Panelo earlier told Andaya to stop lawyering for contractors after the latter revealed that the government has P100-billion unpaid infrastructure contracts in 2018, which allegedly forced some contractors to resort to bribery just to be paid.
The congressman said concerned DBM and Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH) employees have intimated to him that payables for 2018 infrastructure projects have risen from P44 billion last November 2018 to more than P100 billion at the end of the year.
But Panelo said: “If the contractors have something to complain, they should themselves file the complaint and address their concerns to the respective department or the Department of Public Works.”
Andaya did not back down on his claims, saying the P100-billion payables was just “the tip of the iceberg.”
He warned that the Duterte administration’s massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program could be in “peril” as an “economic slowdown is imminent” and a “contractors’ revolt is possible.”
“All of these, thanks to Sec. Diokno’s anomalous budget practices,” Andaya quipped, adding that if Malacañang wants a briefing on these “anomalies,” he could “rush to the Palace any time of the day.” /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.