Palace defends DBM, blasts Tiangco
MANILA - Malacañang defended the Department of Budget and Management from criticisms that the agency should also be blamed for the pork barrel scam.
Asked to respond to a reported statement of Rep. Toby Tiangco, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said it was the lawmakers who identified the NGOs and made the authorization to transfer funds to these groups. The instructions, he said, were given to the implementing agencies.
"Where do you lay the blame? It's not with DBM… Under the previous budgets, there are lump sum appropriations: 70 million to the congressmen, 200 million to the senators. 70 million, nakalagay 'yun doon sa budget, but as to the usage, ang congressman ang nagsasabi kung saan papunta because PDAF niya 'yun, lump sum 'yun," Lacierda said.
"We've taken that away. In fact, we're going against that particular system. Now that everything is being unearthed. That's why we have reformed the system as we saw it then, we're now changing it. We're giving it less discretion on people, fixing a menu of guidelines such that your choice, your discretion, has been limited as to the number of projects that are provided, that will truly benefit the people."
Lacierda said steps had been made to plug the loopholes and that cases would be filed against those who took advantage of the system.
"Of course, we tried to improve the system. May nakakalusot… Kung may nakakalusot… kakasuhan…," he said.
He blasted Tiangco for trying to "politicize" the issue.