Anti-impeach solons got ‘pork barrel’–Budget chief
MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers that voted against the impeachment of either Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez or Chief Justice Renato Corona–including staunch allies of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo–still got their “pork barrel” funds in 2011, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
said Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco’s testimony before the Senate impeachment court failed to establish an alleged pattern to withhold priority development assistance funds (PDAF) to House members who don’t follow the administration’s agenda.
“Representative Tiangco miserably fails in his attempt to establish that we have a policy of withholding the PDAF releases of solons who voted against the two impeachment complaints,” Abad said in a statement, a day after Tiangco took the witness stand for the defense panel in Corona’s trial.
“On the contrary, the PDAF of legislators who voted against these impeachment complaints were released in 2011,” he added.
Among the House members that voted against both or either of the impeachment complaints include Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, Nueva Ecija Rep. Rodolfo Antonino, Davao del Sur Rep. Marc Douglas Cagas IV, Bohol Rep. Arthur C. Yap, Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol, Batangas Rep. Hermilando I. Mandanas, Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, La Union Rep. Victor Francisco Ortega and Occidental Mindoro Rep. Ma. Amelita Villarosa.
“Clearly, the testimony of Representative Tiangco is irrelevant to the impeachment trial as it doesn’t establish a policy or pattern. Rather, it is merely a ploy of the Defense to buy time and delay the impeachment proceedings, as it is unable to put together a credible defense for Corona,” Abad said
Abad said that P66.993 million from Tiangco’s PDAF as of Nov. 9 2011 has been released.
He also said that the 2011 PDAF of other House members, who did not endorse the impeachment complaints against Gutierrez and Corona, was released.
Abad said the special allotment release orders charged against Tiangco’s PDAF allocation–dated July 27, August 1, October 27 and November 9–came well ahead of the day the House of Representatives transmitted the impeachment complaint against Corona on Dec. 12, 2011.
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