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Andaya claims innocence; says his job was ‘ministerial release of funds’

Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA—Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. protested the plunder complaint filed against him on Thursday, saying he was just doing his job as budget secretary when he released Malampaya funds ostensibly for the benefit of typhoon victims.

“What’s worrisome is that we are setting a precedent wherein all those involved in the ministerial release of the funds, including DBM officials, should… from now on become automatic co-accused in every graft case to be filed in the country,” he said in a statement.

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He added: “If one district engineer buys one pail of fake asphalt or one school principal hijacks money intended for books or a mayor steals the money for medicines, this means that he or she would be charged alongside with the automatic (sic) co-accused from the DBM?  Siguro kailangan ko ng isang batalyong abogado para humarap sa mga kaso (perhaps I need a battery of lawyers to face this case).”

He said that not every request for release of funds  should be treated with suspicion.

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Andaya  said the whistle-blowers did not mention him in their affidavits and they were never seen with him. He said Napoles did not know him and they had no photographs together.

“If the so-called masterminds are the ones saying that I have no direct involvement in the plunder of Malampaya funds, why am I now being dragged into this? Why am I being made as co-accused if evidence shows that my only participation is the expediency in the manner of the release of the funds to alleviate the miseries of the typhoon victims?” he said.

Andaya insisted he did not profit from the alleged misuse of the money and his only sin was to follow an order and the law to help flood victims.

“Again, I’m begging my accusers to invite me in their quest for truth. Andito lang po ako sa sidewalk ng daang matuwid (I’m just here on the sidewalk of straight path),” he said.

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TAGS: Malampaya fund scam, Nation, News, pork barrel scam
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