Former commissioner: Comelec intel funds like pork-A A +A
Sunday, September 8, 2013
MANILA -- The intelligence funds of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) are no different from the controversial pork barrel of lawmakers, said former poll commissioner Augusto Lagman, stressing they are both being spent at the exclusive discretion of the ones holding them.
“Talagang parang equivalent ng pork barrel yang intelligence funds. Dahil nung nakatanggap ako noon, kung pinirmahan ko lang yung pang-liquidation, lalabas sa akin na yung P1.25 million,” said Lagman.
On May 2013, he revealed that Comelec officials receive intelligence funds without the need for a detailed liquidation with him being given a total of P1.25 million during his brief 10-month stay at the commission.
All the more it can be likened, the former poll official said, is because it allegedly came from the so-called presidential pork barrel.
“Nagbigay ng P30 million… Kapag sinabi nilang hindi para imbestigahan ang mga so-called election saboteurs, para saan yun?” asked Lagman, who is among the petitioners in the writ of habeas data case filed at the Court of Appeals (CA).
Because of this similarity with the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF), Lagman called on his former colleagues at the Comelec to reject the intelligence funds being given to them.
He also quoted now Senate President Frank Drilon’s statement back in 2011, wherein the latter said that only the military and law enforcement agencies should be given intelligence funds.
“Dapat wala yang intelligence funds e. Malinaw na malinaw naman yun,” said Lagman.
Lagman’s call comes amid the multi-billion pork barrel scam, wherein lawmakers supposedly funneled their PDAF to the fake non-government organizations of Janet Lim-Napoles to finance ghost projects.
The scam has resulted to massive calls for the abolition of the pork barrel, not only those of lawmakers but also of the Office of the President (OP). (HDT/Sunnex)