President Benigno Aquino 3rd is unfazed of the 100 day deadline that the groups against discretionary funds imposed on him to scrap the pork barrel, the term used by the protesters to describe discretionary funds, a Palace official said Saturday.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte noted that such deadline has long been floated, and that the Aquino administration is confident of the measures it has taken to make those who abused the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the legislators’ discretionary fund liable.
“The Aquino administration will push for the correct thing in the correct time. The DOJ has already filed cases on these [PDAF and the Malampaya fund], and that is following the process,” Valte said in an interview with Radyo ng Bayan.
Valte was referring to the plunder and graft-related cases filed against the 38 people in connection with the P10 billion PDAF scam and the 22 people charged over the P900 million Malampaya fund mess.
The P10.9 billion allegedly went to the bogus non-state entities owned by Janet Napoles.
“We won’t press charges just for the sake of press releases. The President’s instructions were to make sure that the cases filed are carefully done, would stand scrutiny and stand for conviction,” Valte, a lawyer, argued.
“It would be a disservice to our people if we file charges for mileage whih would later be dismissed by the court,” Valte added.
The critics of the “pork barrel” wants the President to scrap the discretionary allocation of the lawmakers and the President by December 6.
President Aquino, however, is fresh from his primetime speech wherein he underscored that the issue is not about the discretion of the state funding, but those who stole government money.
“Hindi ako nagnakaw at hindi ako magnanakaw. Bakit tayo pa ang magpapaliwanag? Hindi tayo pareho (I didn’t steal and I won’t steal. Why should we be made to explain? We are not the same),” the President shot at the P10 billion PDAF scam suspects and those critics calling for the abolition of the all discretionary funds,” the President said. LLANESCA T. PANTI