Palace mum on 'pork-full' budget

Posted at 08/13/2014 3:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang distanced itself yesterday from allegations that pork barrel funds still form a huge chunk of the Aquino administration's national budget.

Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office neither confirmed nor denied claims that P20.7 billion of the 2014 budget were realigned for at least six agencies, including the Department of Health and the Commission on Higher Education.

“It is no longer covered by the executive, that is a proceeding of the House,” he said during a press briefing.

Coloma was referring to the supposed audio recordings of an executive session of the House of Representatives during which concerned officials were discussing scholarships and medical assistance funds with lawmakers.

The audio recordings formed part of the fourth impeachment complaint filed by Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.

Coloma was also coy on proposals for the government to conduct an investigation of executive officials who were quoted in the audio recordings. – With Christina Mendez