Palace hands off on Enrile ‘cash gift’-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
MALACANANG on Thursday distanced itself on the move of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to give additional budget to his colleagues in the Senate, saying that is his personal discretion to do so.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang said the Executive respects the fiscal autonomy of the Senate and it is not in the position to dictate on its co-equal branch on how to spend their savings.
Enrile, in a newspaper report, admitted granting 18 senators P1.6 million each in “additional” maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
Four senators, who were perceived as critics of the Senate President, received only P250,000 each. They were Senators Miriam Defensor Santoago, Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.
The funds were the remaining available savings of the Senate that can be allocated for the distribution of additional MOOE to the senator’s office.
Enrile earlier said it is his sole discretion to determine how much additional fund to give to his fellow senators.
Malacanang also would not want to speculate whether the additional funds were given as bribe for Enrile to keep his post as Senate President.
“It is better for Senate President Enrile to deal with it,” Carandang said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)