Lawmaker defends Alcala over DA fund misuse
A lawmaker on Friday defended Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala against calls to resign after the Commission on Audit (COA) released a report that his department misused P14.2 billion for questionable projects in 2013.
“While we respect the findings of the COA, I do not think Secretary Alcala should be singled out and attacked over these questioned funds because the real status and details of these questioned projects could be properly explained or clarified by the Department of Agriculture (DA),” Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III said.
In a statement, he said government officials must be accorded due process in the interest of justice and fairness.
“They should be given the time and opportunity to explain and clarify details of the projects where the P14.2 billion in funds were used,” said Albano, House contingent head for the minority bloc of the Commission on Appointments.
A number of party-list lawmakers and farmers’ groups earlier called for Alcala’s ouster or resignation as a consequence of the COA report on the alleged misuse funds for projects that were not started or remained unfinished.
But Albano said the resignation calls were premature and unfair as the agencies involved in the alleged irregularities, including the DA, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and local government units (LGUs) had yet to be given the chance to explain themselves.
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