The representative of the party-list Akbayan has been appointed as caretaker of Dinagat Islands and has since been given control of the development funds allotted for the province’s lone congressional district. Administration critics say this boosts the chances of Rep Kaka Bag-ao as a candidate for district representative of the province, whose former representative, Ruben Ecleo, was expelled by Congress in July 2012. It is the first time since the country elected party-list representatives 14 years ago that a sectoral nominee has been given power over a district. As caretaker, Bag-ao has so far received about P137 million in Ecleo’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or "pork barrel" meant for Ecleo’s district. In contrast, lawmakers who have been critical of President Benigno Aquino III and of Akbayan have not been receiving their pork barrel.
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