Bongbong Marcos washes hands of Bulacan ‘pork’ project
MANILA, Philippines–Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said his role in the use of his pork barrel funds reportedly for a Bulacan project was only recommendatory, and it would be up to the entities that undertook the project to follow the pertinent procedures.
If his priority development assistance funds (PDAF) were used for Bulacan, this was pursuant to a request from the local government unit, said a statement from Marcos’ office.
“Certainly, there is nothing illegal with a legislator recommending the funding of a project. Precisely, that is the function of their office,” it said.
According to Marcos, the endorsement by a legislator for funding for a project was “merely recommendatory in nature.” It is up to the Senate President and the Department of Budget and Management to approve the project, he said.
“After the approval, it is incumbent on the LGU to follow the appropriate rules of the Commission on Audit, Department of Budget & Management and the Government Procurement Policy Board with respect to the implementation of the project,” the statement from Marcos’ office said.
If the implementing agency fails to comply with the regulations, “they must be held accountable,” it said.
Marcos’ office issued the statement in response to a report that the COA had ordered Bulacan Mayor Patrick Meneses to refund P40 million that he had channeled to bogus nongovernment organizations from 2012 to 2013.
Part of the funds, or some P15 million, reportedly came from Marcos’ pork barrel allotments.–Leila B. Salaverria