President Benigno Aquino 3rd neither rejected nor vetoed Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s P100-million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) which the latter realigned to Manila, a Palace official said.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte made the statement in light of the discovery that only Estrada realigned his PDAF to local government units.
Aside from Manila, the local government units (LGUs) that stand to receive the senator’s realigned PDAF are: Caloocan City (P50 million) and the Municipality of Lal-lo in Cagayan province (P50 million).
“The President’s message was clear: that the release of this fund is subject to conditional implementation. This means that guidelines have to be drafted for the utilization of this fund. It is not necessarily a veto,” Valte said.
Aside from Estrada, nine other senators realigned their PDAF, including Senators Lito Lapid, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., and Antonio Trillanes 4th who realigned P200 million to government agencies.
On the other hand, Senators Ralph Recto, Allan and Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and Joseph Victor Ejercito transferred their PDAF to the Calamity Fund.
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 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.