Provide your email for confirmation

Tell us a bit about yourself

country *
province *

why we ask about location

Please provide your email address

Login

To share your thoughts

Don't have an account?

Login with email

Check your inbox

We just sent a link to your inbox. Click the link to continue signing in. Can’t find it? Check your spam & junk mail.

Didn't get a link?

Sign up

Ready to get started

Already have an account?

Sign up with email

By signing up you agree to Rappler’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy

Check your inbox

We just sent a link to your inbox. Click the link to continue registering. Can’t find it? Check your spam & junk mail.

Didn't get a link?

Join Rappler+

How often would you like to pay?

Monthly Subscription

Your payment was interrupted

Exiting the registration flow at this point will mean you will loose your progress

Your payment didn’t go through

Exiting the registration flow at this point will mean you will loose your progress

Diokno reserving road tax funds for admin allies? 'Nonsense,' says Panelo

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang denied that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno is refusing to release funds from road users' tax in order to reserve them for administration allies in preparation for the 2019 elections.

"It's nonsense," Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told Rappler on Tuesday, December 18, in a message.

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr had made this accusation against Diokno after the deadlock in Congress over the Road Board's abolition.

Panelo said Malacañang is still all for moves to abolish the office, which has been hounded by corruption allegations, including a Commission on Audit finding that the agency misappropriated P90.7 billion in road users' tax.

"Yes, that is what is needed," he said when asked if Malacañang backs the abolition of the Road Board. Panelo added that Duterte would sign the bill abolishing the office "as soon as it is given to him."

Duterte is also determined not to release the road users' tax while there is a bill seeking to abolish the Road Board.

"His stand is not to release and return the fund to the Treasury and let Congress appropriate as it deems fit," Panelo told Rappler.

The bill to abolish the Road Board is in limbo after the House rescinded its version of the bill, House Bill 7436, approved when Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez was still Speaker.

The Senate had adopted the House bill in order to fast-track the legislative process and so that Duterte could sign the bill into law sooner.

Without the House approving its own bill, the fate of the Road Board is uncertain. In the meantime, Diokno has stopped the release of the road users' tax, said to amount to P45 billion.

The budget chief said it was Duterte himself who gave instructions not to release the funds yet. – Rappler.com