• Lacson to remain rehab czar


    Former senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson will keep his post as presidential adviser on rehabilitation and recovery despite his exposes on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Saturday.

    It was Lacson who first submitted to the Senate documents given by Janet Napoles that lists around 100 senators, congressmen and other government officials who allegedly received kickbacks or commissions from the pork barrel of lawmakers.

    “Just because Secretary Lacson said something about a particular issue, it doesn’t mean that he is not performing his tasks,” Valte said in a radio interview.

    Lacson had warned that the list would ruin the Senate but he said that he documents should not be hidden from the public.

    House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora of San Juan earlier questioned the lethargic government spending in areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda which he claimed only reached P4 billion.

    But Valte said Lacson continues to discuss rehabilitation plans with President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    Lacson’s duty is to coordinate with other government agencies and hasten relief and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit provinces.

    Yolanda killed at least 6,000 people and damaged at least P35 billion worth of government and private infrastructure.

    Valte parried criticisms that the pork barrel scam should not divert Lacson’s attention.

    “We will leave it to Secretary Lacson to respond to those calling for him to focus on Yolanda rehabilitation,” the Palace official said.


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