House leader ready to ‘enlighten’ Palace officials on Diokno

February 19, 2019
Benjamin Diokno

THE chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations has volunteered to brief Palace officials on embattled Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno’s alleged anomalous budget practices to prevent President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) Program from being jeopardized.

“The Build, Build, Build Program of the President is in peril. An economic slowdown is imminent. All of these, thanks to Sec. Diokno’s anomalous budget practices,” Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr., the panel chairman, alleged.

Diokno vehemently denied all the allegations against him by Andaya.

Earlier, Andaya lamented that concerned Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) employees had informed him that the total amount of unpaid contracts for 2018 infrastructure projects have risen from P44 billion last November to more than P100 billion at the end of the year, which allegedly bred corruption as some contractors reportedly resorted to bribery just to get paid.

This prompted Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo to ask Andaya to stop lawyering for the contractors.

But Andaya advised Panelo to talk to Diokno for him to get informed about the alleged “dark secrets lurking in the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).”

“If Malacañang wants a briefing on these anomalies, my line is open. I can rush to the Palace any time of the day,” Andaya stressed.

“Sec. Panelo better talk to Sec. Diokno, man-to-man. Marami siyang sekreto na hindi nalalaman tungkol sa DBM,” Andaya said. “The P100-billion payables are just the tip of the iceberg.”

The Build, Build, Build (BBB) Program of President Duterte seeks to accelerate infrastructure spending and develop industries that will yield robust growth, create jobs and improve the lives of Filipinos.

It was reported that public spending on infrastructure projects is targeted at P8 to 9 trillion from 2017 to 2022.