President Benigno Aquino 3rd did not reject or vetoed the P100 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada which the latter realigned to the City of Manila headed by his father, former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
Palace deputy Spokesman Abigail Valte made the statement in light of the discovery that among the Senators, only Estrada realigned his PDAF to local government units.
Aside from Manila, the LGUs who stand to receive Senator Estrada’s realigned PDAF are: City of Caloocan (P50 million) and Municipality of Lal-lo Cagayan province (P50 million).
“The President’s veto message was clear: that the release of this fund is subject to conditional implementation. That means that guidelines have to be drafted for the utilization of this said fund. It is not necessarily a veto,” Valte told state-run Radyo ng Bayan.
Aside from Estrada, nine other Senators realigned their PDAF. Of the nine, three of them realigned their respective P200 million PDAF to government agencies namely: Senators Lito Lapid, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Antonio Trillanes 4th.
On the other hand, five Senators transferred their PDAF to the Calamity Fund which is a Presidential discretionary fund. These Senators include: Ralph Recto, siblings Allan and Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor Santiago and Joseph Victor Ejercito.
The 15 Senators who did not realign their respective P200 million PDAF include: Francis Escudero, Juan Edgardo Angara, Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, Teofisto Guingona 3rd, Franklin Drilon, Serge Osmeña 3rd, Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Cynthia Villar, Loren Legarda, Juan Ponce Enrile, Vicente Sotto 3rd, Gringo Honasan, Nancy Binay and Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
“The veto message itself provides an explanation on how the President acted on certain items of the budget. We should not go beyond that statement,” Valte added. AFP