Ex-An Waray party-list lawmaker open to probe on ‘pork' use-A A +A
Thursday, September 26, 2013
FORMER An Waray party-list representative Florencio Noel is willing to be investigated over allegations he had questionable transactions when he was a member of the House of Representatives.
"I am always open to any probe or investigation. My track record as a public servant speaks for itself," Noel told reporters in a text message Thursday.
In a privilege speech Wednesday, Senator Jinggoy Estrada claimed Noel was left out in reports exposing the misuse of priority development assistance funds (PDAF) allocated to congressmen and senators.
Citing a Commission on Audit (COA) report, Estrada said Noel used P25 million of his PDAF for projects in Mandaluyong City, where House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales Jr. is congressman. Gonzales was also mentioned in the privilege speech of Estrada.
Noel and Gonzales are close allies of President Benigno Aquino III.
Estrada also noted that P23.9 million of Noel's PDAF did not comply with procurement laws and another P19.6 million worth of transactions had questionable suppliers.
"We have placed our PDAF in Mandaluyong because of the large Waray population there. How I'd wished the good senator also made public the P30 million of pork that I've placed at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Heart Center, PGH (Philippine General Hospital), and other local hospitals throughout the country. How I'd hoped he made known the P35 million we've allotted for scholarships in other LGUs (local government units), not just Mandaluyong," Noel said.
Like Estrada, Noel said he feels "singled out" on the privilege speech made by the senator, who was allegedly linked to Napoles.
Estrada said there is "selective justice" after he, along with two other opposition senators, were accused of plunder by the Justice department for allegedly misusing their pork barrel funds by channeling these to questionable non-government organizations (NGOs).
"Never have I placed our PDAF on any NGO, much more in an anomalous NGO," Noel stressed.(Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)