SENATE President Franklin Drilon was slapped another plunder complaint on Monday, this time for allegedly pocketing a portion of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the construction of a P123.5 million walkway.
In the complaint he filed at the Office of the Ombudsman, former Rep. Augusto Syjuco of Iloilo accused Drilon of “pinching” from the fund used to cover the construction of Iloilo Esplanade I worth P70 million, its improvement worth P13.5 million and for the Iloilo Esplanade II worth P40 million.
Syjuco said Esplanade I, which runs along the Iloilo River from Medical City Hospital to Parola Ferry Terminal, was overpriced by at least P58 million.
He said that if the construction of the retaining wall, slope protection, landscaping and amenities that complete the Esplanade I project were to be added, “the cost of over P60 million is overwhelmingly incredible.”
“This P70-million worth Iloilo Esplanade I project is absolutely a windfall to the pocket of respondent Drilon, amassing an amount of not less than P35 million,” he added.
After the project was finished, Drilon released another P13.5 million from his pork barrel for improvement and completion works, Syjuco said.
In January 2013, the senator disbursed P40 million to build Esplanade II.
Syjuco said “Drilon pinched at least P10 million from the project . . .”
He earlier filed a slew of charges against Drilon over the construction of the Iloilo Justice Hall in 1992, the purchase of a 16.2-hectare property in Iloilo in 2006 and the release of P800-million pork barrel to Rep. Henedina Abad of Batanes.
Drilon dismissed the charges, saying they were part of Syjuco’s efforts to discredit him.