Taguiwalo denies Duterte claim DSWD funds went to NPA
Former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo has called as “baseless” President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that conditional cash transfer program funds were reportedly coursed to the communist armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) during her administration, saying the Chief Executive appears to be “justifying” her rejection by his allies in the Commission on Appointments (CA).
“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 on Tuesday.
“The program funds are directly coursed through the Landbank and its conduits who then make direct payout to the Pantawid beneficiaries. These transactions are recorded and [the Commission on Audit] regularly audits this program,” she said.
Taguiwalo, a left-leaning activist and former University of the Philippines professor, was a nominee of the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines to Mr. Duterte’s Cabinet.
The President appointed her to the social welfare post, which she held for 14 months before she was rejected by the CA for unexplained reasons earlier this month.
Taguiwalo believed it was due to her refusal to release pork barrel funds automatically on account of the legislators’ referrals.
In a press conference on Monday, Mr. Duterte said Taguiwalo was rejected because she was “suspected” by some people of coursing the 4Ps funds to the NPA.
But Taguiwalo countered Mr. Duterte’s statement: “Had the President’s allies questioned me regarding this issue during the CA hearings—or even during the congressional deliberations on the 2018 budget—I would have given them answers that are easily verifiable.”
Taguiwalo explained that the 4Ps beneficiaries during her term were those identified in the previous administration and already included in the list even before she assumed her post. In fact, she said she had declared her preference that there should be no additions to the list of 4.4 million beneficiary-households.
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