Few LP solons got full pork barrel, DBM says

The Department of Budget and Management claims that the government is not playing favorites when it released last year the pork barrel to each congressman

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) claims that the government is not playing favorites when it released last year the pork barrel to each congressman.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement Thursday, March 15, that even lawmakers who are allied with President Benigno Aquino III did not get preferential treatment with regard to the release of their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAFs), or pork barrel.

The DBM online database shows that although all lawmakers from Aquino’s Liberal Party (LP) got their PDAF in 2011, not everyone got the full P70 million amount of pork barrel.

Out of the 73 members of LP in the House of Representatives, only 33 got the full pork barrel amount (see table below).

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. only got P40 million, which was released in parts in July, August, September, October, and December.

Rep Niel Tupas Jr, the lead prosecutor in the impeachment against Chief justice Renato Corona, received P53.7 million in April, May, November, December.

Rep Miro Quimbo, another prosecutor in the Corona impeachment, got P48,512,500 released in April, May, July, and December.

Boxing champ and Sarangani Rep Manny Paquiao received the lowest pork barrel among all LP lawmakers, with only P31.7 million. This was released in April, June, and July.

It was alleged that Malacañang has delayed the release of pork barrel to lawmakers who are against the administration. Navotas Rep Tobias “Toby” Tiangco, for one, told the impeachment court on Monday that Malacañang used the PDAF to pressure lawmakers to vote for the impeachment of Corona and former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

But Rappler has earlier reported that lawmakers who even voted against the impeachment complaints still got their PDAF for 2011. Among them are Representatives Edcel Lagman, Marc Douglas Cagas, Danilo Suarez, and Victor Ortega.

Some did not receive the full P70 million pork barrel, but all got their pork barrel allocations in similar intervals — regardless, it seems, whether they voted for or against impeachment in both instances. Even former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo got pork for her district, albeit not the full amount. – Rappler.com

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