VP not up to date on underspending issue, says Palace
MALACAÑANG yesterday dismissed accusations from Vice President Jejomar Binay that the Aquino administration has been underspending on purpose and was planning to release government funds once the date of the 2016 elections draws near.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Binay, the presidential standard-bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, was “huli na sa balita (johnny-come-lately)” on the underspending issue.
Lacierda was apparently referring to a recent Department of Budget and Management (DBM) report that national government spending reached P558.5 billion in the third quarter, an increase of 19.3 percent, or P90.2 billion from the same period last year.
The DBM said it was the administration’s “biggest quarterly (spending) growth rate since 2012.”
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the robust third quarter performance showed that the government’s efforts to fix spending bottlenecks were working and expressed optimism that the spending momentum would be sustained until the end of the year.
Lacierda told reporters administration officials are no longer surprised by Binay’s pronouncements.
He said the Vice President was sour-graping “because he was not endorsed by President Aquino”.
Where Binay used to repeatedly praise Mr. Aquino when he was still the administration, now he criticizes him.
Binay served in the Aquino Cabinet in various capacities until he resigned in his positions after failing to get Mr. Aquino’s endorsement.
According to Lacierda, “what is certain is that Vice President Binay’s life has been good because up to now, he has not answered allegations of corruption against him.”
He earlier said it was Binay who should be called “Mr. Flip-flop,” not Mr. Aquino, reacting to reports that the Vice President had accused Mr. Aquino of flip-flopping on the income tax rate issue.
Binay is “Mr. Flop because he was not endorsed by the President and he changed his tune all the way,” he said. Jerry E. Esplanada
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.