Lacson: House amendments include overpriced ambulances
MANILA, Philippines – Members of the House of Representatives were allegedly allotted P2.5 million each from the 2019 national budget for an overpriced ambulance, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Monday.
Lacson said a text message from the office of Speaker Gloria Mcapagal-Arroyo supposedly indicated a P2.5 million budget for the ambulances.
“Nagtanong ako sa ibang kongresista ang ambulansya napakamahal sa P2.5M. So bakit naka-indicate doon mismo ang amount ng ambulance na ipu-purchase ng mga kongresista?” he said in an interview at the Senate.
The budget for ambulance, he said, was part of the P25 million and P8 million budget distributed to congressmen from the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) of the Department of Health.
“If we’re talking here of 295 congressmen at ganoon kamahal ang ambulance, kung overpriced P1 million kada ambulansya, we’re talking here of P295 million in overpriced purchase ng ambulance,” Lacson pointed out.
The congressmen who would get P25 million from HFEP, he said, are those who elected Arroyo as Speaker while those who did not vote for her would only receive P8 million.
Those who would get only P8 million are now the ones complaining and had sought for his help, Lacson said.
“Pero di sila makakibo for obvious reasons,” he said.
“They sought me out, ako pinakiusapan nila, ang sabi ko sa kanila hindi pwedeng kwentuhan lang tayo. Bigyan nyo ako maski anong pruweba na ito talagang nangyari.”
“So they sent me the exact text of the SMS na pinadala sa phone ng P25 million at P8M na nakatanggap,” Lacson added.
Lacson earlier alleged that Arroyo funneled nearly P95 billion in infrastructure funds to the districts of her allies. /gsg
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