NPA never got any 4Ps funds — Taguiwalo
“All baseless accusations.”
This was how former Social Welfare Sec. Judy Taguiwalo described on Tuesday the accusations cited by President Rodrigo Duterte that she might have used conditional cash transfer (CCT) funds to support the New People’s Army (NPA).
“For the record and for the President’s own awareness, not a single peso of the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino) program passed through my hands,” Taguiwalo said in a statement.
The former secretary said the program funds were directly coursed through the Landbank and its conduits who then made direct payout to CCT beneficiaries.
“These transactions are recorded and COA regularly audits this program,” Taguiwalo added.
Duterte on Monday said there were reports that Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 4Ps funds, through Taguiwalo, were channeled to the NPA to purchase firearms.
Taguiwalo said it was clear that the insinuations were made “to pass off as justifications” for the rejection of her appointment by Duterte’s allies at the House of Representatives and the Commission on Appointments.
She noted that she would have given the lawmakers answers that were “easily verifiable” if they asked her during the CA hearings or the 2018 budget deliberations.
“When I first arrived in the DSWD, among my first declarations and actions were to say that the 4Ps program would NOT be expanding,” Taguiwalo said.
She said that the list of 4.4 million beneficiary-households, which was already in place when she became secretary, did not increase under her watch.
The only addition, she explained, were the families of soldiers killed or wounded in action who had children under 18.
“This is in compliance with the President’s order,” the former secretary said.
Taguiwalo reiterated that she kept faith with the President’s instructions to ensure that DSWD provides prompt service to the poor regardless of political affiliation and without any tinge of corruption. The least she asked of him was not to “legitimize baseless accusations” against her.
“I have tried my best to ensure that the department fulfills its mandate of protecting and promoting the rights of the poor and to shield it from becoming an instrument of corruption and patronage,” Taguiwalo said.
“I have done my best as a member of the President’s Cabinet and his government and served the people with humility and full transparency. The least I asked of him is to not legitimize baseless accusations against me,” she added. CBB
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