Aliping okay with ‘pork’ chop-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Monday, September 16, 2013
BAGUIO Representative Nicasio Aliping joined the bandwagon of neophyte lawmakers who committed to support the abolition of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel system.
Aliping, together with 52 other new legislators in the House of Representatives, recently signed a manifesto expressing outrage over the ongoing investigation on the pork barrel scandal involving Janet Lim Napoles and the Commission on Audit special report.
"There can be no excuses for this kind of abuse and the appropriate steps must be taken to make accountable those involved and to ensure the travesty will not be repeated," the legislators said in a collated statement.
"We call on the concerned government agencies to exert all efforts to effect the fair and speedy investigation, prosecution and conviction of those responsible for the plunder of the PDAF, whether they be public officials or private citizens regardless of their political affiliations or personal connections. Those who are guilty must be held to account and those who are innocent must be cleared," the lawmakers said.
Aliping said he is not worried about the proposal to scrap PDAF, emphasizing he "will work out hard to source out funds for the programs and projects for the city in the event the priority development assistance fund is scrapped."
Should this happen, the lawmaker said his office "will have to be patient and constant in going to national agencies and to Malacañang to take part of the National Government funds for health, education, infrastructure, livelihood development and emergency allocations."
The neophyte congressman said he will abide by whatever is the consensus of the House of Representatives on the pork barrel.
Aliping heeded the call of Nueva Ecija Representative Magnolia Antonino-Nadres enjoining lawmakers to "take appropriate steps to take those involved in the scam and ensure that the same will not be repeated again."
Representative Maria Leonora Gerona Robredo (Camarines Sur, third district) incensed at those involved in the scandal and stressed, "Public officials involved in the pork barrel scam have besmirched the integrity of several institutions including the house of representatives and have undone years of honest work by their more principled colleagues."
Abakada party-list Representative Jonathan Dela Cruz expressed his support to the manifestation of neophyte congressmen.
Aside from the abolition, he also "stressed the need for Congress to perform its oversight function to monitor how public funds are being spent." He suggested the "recreation of the House committee of oversight and the submission of all Executive agencies of quarterly reports of the implementation of public projects and programs."
Baguio's lone district representative together with four other lawmakers took their oath as members of the Liberal Party last week.
Other new members are representatives Gina de Venecia (Pangasinan), Roseller Guiao (Pampanga) and Aileen Radaza (Lapu-lapu City).
Marikina City Representative Miro Quimbo, member of the Liberal Party National Executive Board, said the oath taking is part of the continuing process of strengthening the ruling party.
"It's for unity," said Aliping as he hopes to lobby for the needs of Baguio constituents.
The four lawmakers took their oath before Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya Jr., LP president; and witnessed by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. According to Quimbo, there are 117 members of the Liberal Party in the House of Representatives.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 17, 2013.