Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV said yesterday he is certain that the proposed abolition of the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund, or the pork barrel of legislators, will be supported by the majority of his colleagues, and that around 15 senators had shown support for it.
Aquino was in Dumaguete City yesterday for a meeting with Governor Roel Degamo, and to attend to personal and professional activities. He is also going to Siquijor province today as guest at the annual Siquijor Day.
“The abolition (of the pork barrel) in the Senate is almost a sure thing already,” he said in a press conference.
He added that the PDAF of senators will be returned to the national treasury and the funds intended for development projects will be coursed through the government line agencies.
Aquino said he expects that, before the end of the month, charges will be filed against lawmakers and even those whistleblowers found involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
He also said that, based on the report of the Commission on Audit, some of the non-government organizations named recipients of the PDAF of lawmakers admitted that part of the funds allocated them went to ghost projects.
The problem is that there was no physical verification of whether the funded projects were truly implemented. Some agencies are satisfied with paper documentation only, Aquino added.
He said agencies are given three percent from the PDAF funds to monitor the NGOs that received funding, (so) these agencies also have a liability.*JFP
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