MANILA, Philippines – As President Benigno Aquino III rejected calls to abolish the pork barrel system anew, his cousin at the Senate announced he will not use the fund in the meantime.
Sen Bam Aquino on Monday, August 19, said he would defer using his office's Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) until the investigation into the pork scam is over and necessary charges are filed against those who abused it.
“People are already getting impatient—and that’s a good thing," Aquino said. "The clamor only means that people have come to expect more from their government, and it’s good because it means they’re serious about good governance.”
“To show that we’re equally serious about the matter, we’re suspending use of our office’s own PDAF,” he added.
A Commission on Audit report released on Friday, August 16, on the use of PDAF from 2007 to 2009 revealed 12 senators and 180 representatives channeled at least P6.1-B worth of funds to dubious non-government organizations (NGOs).
As the manhunt for alleged pork barrel syndicate Janet Lim Napoles continues, the National Bureau of Investigation has launched a full blown probe into the multi-billion pork barrel scandal.
A senator receives P200 million under the PDAF to be used for projects that can be chosen from a menu provided by the Department of Budget and Management. Their counterparts in the House of Representatives get P70 million each. - Angela Casauay/Rappler.com