Joker still Scrooge of Congress
MANILA, Philippines - Last-term Senator Joker Arroyo is leaving a legacy as the thriftiest legislator for 20 straight years when it comes to spending taxpayer’s money.
Statistics from the Commission on Audit (COA) showed that Arroyo has retained the title of being the country’s thriftiest senator in the 15th Congress for spending a total of P31.687 million in 2011.
Arroyo’s expenses turned out to be the smallest among 24 senators in the COA itemized list of amounts paid to and expenses incurred by each senator for 2011, published in The STAR recently.
Arroyo was followed in the “thrift category” by Sen. Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, who spent P34.9 million in the same period, then by Senators Panfilo Lacson with P37.115 million and Sergio Osmeña with P37.680 million.
Meanwhile, Manuel Villar Jr. spent P40.312 million; Miriam Defensor-Santiago, P41.036 million; Teofisto Guingona III, P41.502 million; and Edgardo Angara, P41.789 million.
Pia Cayetano spent P42.122 million; Ralph Recto, P42.390 million; Manuel Lapid, P43.565 million; Loren Legarda, P44.107 million; Francis Pangilinan, P46.889 million; Gregorio Honasan II, P47.185 million; Francis Escudero, P48.729 million; Ferdinand Marcos Jr., P49.219 million; Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr., P49.832 million; and Antonio Trillanes IV, P54.977 million.
Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano spent P55.039 million; Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, P56.259 million; Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, P62.122 million; and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, P118.3 million.
Enrile, Estrada, Alan Cayetano and Sotto had higher allocations compared to the other senators because statistics reflected that they had more expenses as officers of the Senate.
Two senators - Juan Miguel Zubiri and Aquilino Pimentel - shared the Senate seat in 2011.
Zubiri had to resign to give way to Pimentel following a tedious election protest over who won the 12th seat in the 2007 senatorial elections.