A Palace spokesman on Tuesday said Malacañang officials are not aware of the secret meeting between Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla before the Senate convicted former chief justice Renato Corona.
Deputy spokesman Abigail Valte was reacting to an article written by Dante A. Ang of The Manila Times which revealed that Roxas brought Revilla to his residence in Cubao, Quezon City, called Bahay Pangarap, where they met with President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
In that meeting, the P50 million additional pork barrel was taken up as a reward for senators who would vote to convict Corona. However, it was not clear who among the four men brought up the subject.
However, Valte said nobody in Malacañang has any information on who set up the meeting, if indeed such a meeting did take place.
“I would not have any information, given [the fact]that it is Secretary Roxas who has been alluded to in that particular story,” Valte said. She pointed out that the answer should come from Roxas himself.
The issue became media fodder after Sen. Jinggoy Estrada claimed in a privilege
speech that Malacañang had given senators an incentive in the form of additional allocations after Corona was convicted by the Senate impeachment court.
The Budget secretary acknowledged that 20 senators did receive an amount ranging from P50 million to P100 million under the government’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). He added, however, that the additional allocation was not meant as an incentive. Rather, the intention was “to ramp up spending and help accelerate economic