President Benigno Aquino 3rd has no plans to reshuffle the Cabinet amid reports that some of its members were involved in the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers by releasing money to fake organizations.
Rumors of a possible Cabinet revamp started circulating after the President called the Cabinet to a closed-door meeting in Malacañang on Tuesday.
The meeting reportedly included discussions on the pork barrel mess.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas had been implicated in the controversy but the Palace was quick to defend them.
”There are no plans [for a reshuffle],” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
He said Roxas was “very transparent” and the Cabinet secretary is willing to provide all documents to show where his pork
barrel went when he was still a senator.
“In his years of public service, Secretary Mar Roxas has never been tainted with any allegation of anomaly. And any suggestion that Secretary Mar Roxas is involved in any scam is malicious,” he added.
A Commission on Audit (COA) special report showed that Roxas earmarked P5 million of his PDAF to Kalookan Assistance Council, Inc. (KACI), a non-government organization, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The COA report said part of Roxas’ pork barrel that went to KACI was allotted for its administrative expenses.
Lacierda said KACI was not one of the fake NGOs linked to Janet Lim-Napoles.
He added that the NGO must explain why portion of Roxas’ PDAF was used for the group’s employees.