By Argyll Geducos
There is no hidden pork barrel in the proposed P3.575-trillion national budget for 2019, Malacañang assured Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo made the assurance after Sen. Panfilo Lacson raised that there are pork barrel in the proposed budget.
In a radio interview Sunday, Panelo, using the Supreme Court definition of the term as reference, said there cannot be a pork barrel in the proposed budget.
“Kasi ang pork barrel sabi ng Korte Suprema, ‘yun ‘yung lump sum inaaprubahan
Pagkatapos saka lamang ituturo kung saan dadalhin. Pero this time, sinasabi nila there’s no such thing anymore kasi line item lahat (pork barrel, as defined by the Supreme Court, is the lump sum approved beforehand and its allocation will be identified after. But this time, they are saying there’s no such thing anymore because everything is already identified),” he said.
“Kontrata tayo sa depinisyon ng Korte Suprema na lump sum (We are against pork barrel with the definition of the Supreme Court as a lump sum),” he added.
Talks about the pork barrel cropped up anew following Lacson’s allegations and the acquittal of former Sen.Bong Revilla of plunder. Revilla was accused of misusing his pork barrel or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in 2013.
Earlier, Panelo assured that the administration has implemented measures to ensure that the people’s money is used properly.
“In any event, this Administration takes stock of the lessons learned from cases involving unconstitutional discretionary funds and has implemented measures to ensure the integrity of the national budget and its proper utilization for our people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Panelo said that there is no problem that Revilla is included in the senatorial slate of HugpongngPagbabago, the political party founded by Presidential Daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
“Inabswelto siya ng hukuman, paano mo masasabing magkakaroon kang problema (He was absolved by the court, how can you say there will be a problem),” he said.
President Duterte has repeatedly said there is no room for corruption in his administration, proven by the number of officials he has fired due to allegations of corruption.