House SecGen: Reports of Romualdez’s P1.8 billion travel fund are false
MANILA, Philippines — House of Representatives Secretary General Reginald Velasco has disputed claims that Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez had a P1.8 billion travel expense in a year, saying that such reports are erroneous and are mere “fake news.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Velasco said that such reports are only meant to mislead the public and tarnish Romualdez and the legislative chamber’s reputation.
“Recent reports circulating about a P1.8 billion travel fund allocated to Speaker Martin Romualdez are completely unfounded and categorically false. These allegations are a clear example of fake news, designed to mislead the public and tarnish the reputation of the Speaker and the entire House of Representatives as an institution,” Velasco said.
“We urge the public and the media to exercise caution and verify facts before sharing such baseless claims. The House of Representatives is committed to transparency and accountability, and the Office of the Secretary-General can confirm that such bloated amount for the Speaker’s travel expenses does not exist,” he added.
Velasco did not mention which program or what media company aired the report, but in the Sonshine Media Network International’s Laban Kasama ng Bayan program, host and self-proclaimed former rebel Jeffrey Celis claimed that Romualdez had a P1.8 billion travel cost for one year.
“Kay Speaker Martin Romualdez, P1.8 billion ang travel cost niya, P1.8 billion for almost one year lang. Sa kanya lang, kaya nagtatanong itong ating source from Congress, P1.8 billion, sabi niya paki-tanong Ka Eric at paki-explain din, paki-tanong kay Secretary Belgica,” Celis said.
“Ito ay breaking information coming from Congress mismong source,” he added.
Former Communications undersecretary Lorraine Badoy said Romualdez should explain this supposed travel expense.
But Velasco said the House would remain focused on serving the country.
“We, in the House of Representatives, are dedicated to serving the nation with integrity and will continue to focus on our legislative duties, rather than being distracted by unfounded rumors and misinformation,” Velasco noted.