No money for ‘ayuda’ but has ‘sacks of cash’ for 2022 polls? Solon questions source of Duterte funds
MANILA, Philippines — A Makabayan bloc solon on Monday denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks of bring in “sacks of cash” for candidates of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in the 2022 elections, but his government has repeatedly claims no longer having the money for financial aid to give to Filipinos.
At the same time, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate also questioned where Duterte will get his “sackfuls of cash,” to ensure the victory of the ruling party’s candidates.
“Akala ko ba walang pera? Wala lang palang pera kapag para sa ayuda ng mga naghihirap at nagugutom nating mga kababayan, pero kapag para sa pampulitika, pang-eleksyon at vote buying pala ay nagsabi na ng maraming pera,” Zarate said in a statement.
(I thought there was no money? Rather, there is no money only if it is for the poor and hungry citizens’ aid but if it is for politics, election campaigns and vote buying, there are a lot of funds.)
Zarate noted that the executive department, which Duterte heads, is in “control in the huge chunks of funds under his department.”
“The question is where will these funds come from that will buy him an escape route for the truckload of cases that he will face later on? Of course offhand, the president has control over the huge chunks of funds under his department,” Zarate said.
“There is the P16.4 billion barangay development fund (BDF) or general’s pork as well as the P4.5 billion presidential confidential and intelligence funds. There are also billions still to be obligated under Bayanihan 1 and 2. Initially, these would amount to more than P20 billion already,” he added.
Aside from this, Zarate said there are also unspent and unobligated funds in other agencies which were earlier flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA).
“President Duterte’s boastful remark shows that his clique is creating an enormous war chest in the run up for the 2022 elections using public funds and resources,” Zarate said.
“This wanton, shameless and wholesale plunder of taxpayers’ money ay dapat wakasan na (should end immediately), especially in this time of the COVID pandemic aggravated crisis,” he added. — with reports from Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, trainee
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