HOUSE Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr. yesterday said that President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte may have wanted to see all the evidence against embattled Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno who faces a congressional investigation in Naga City on January 3, 2019.
Andaya, who chairs the House Committee on Rules, said President Duterte did not even call for a ceasefire if indeed he supports Diokno as what Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo has been trying to portray in the media.
“Wala, wala akong nababalitaan [na pino-protektahan ni Pangulong Duterte si Sec. Diokno]. Pero kung ayaw n’ya (Pangulong Duterte), puwede n’ya akong sabihan na tigilan ko [ang budget issue],” Andaya stressed, adding that he has no intention of stopping his inquiry into Diokno’s alleged P75-billion insertions in the P3.757-trillion national budget.
He assumed that President Duterte is just observing and waiting for all the evidence to come out being a lawyer and a former prosecutor before making action on the budget issues against Diokno.
“Abogado po ang ating Presidente, siguro gusto n’yang makita ‘yung basehan ng sinasabi ko. Tulad ko rin, alam ko rin naman na ang lahat na inihahayag natin sa media ay kailangang patotohanan iyan ng mga dokumento at testimonya sa tamang lugar,” said Andaya.
“Iyan po ay mangyayari sa Jaunuary 3. So we expect to start from ground going up. Makikita po natin ‘yung mga taong maaaring maging involved dito. Makikita natin kung saan nagsisimula ang pagluto o paghahati-hati ng mga kontrata ng gobyerno. Example lang nagbi-bidding na pala hindi pa pasado ‘yung budget, pinaghati-hatian na pala,” said Andaya.
Andaya said the media should ask Panelo and Diokno if indeed they were able to talk to President Duterte about the budget controversies.
“Maybe you should ask them if they actually talked to the President,” said Andaya.