Budget chief pressed on probe attendance

Benjamin Diokno
Benjamin Diokno

THE House Committee on Rules is not losing hope Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno will attend the House probe into the alleged budget insertions and questionable flood control projects.

A third invitation to testify was sent to Diokno for the next hearing, scheduled on Monday.

Diokno twice snubbed the Congressional hearing despite repeated invitations.

According to Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., as DBM top honcho Secretary Diokno should be man enough to explain the anomalous allocations and questionable practices which the House panel uncovered in the course of the investigation.    

“Instead of sending his Undersecretary and other senior DBM officials for grilling by congressmen, Sec. Diokno should be the one doing the explaining. He is the top decision maker in the department, and the buck stops with him,” Andaya said.

Despite earlier denials, Diokno finally admitted in media interviews that the DBM does implement projects to the tune of almost P200 billion.

Confronted with facts and official documents unearthed by the House panel, he finally confessed that DBM is indeed involved in bidding multi-billion-peso projects earmarked for other departments. 

“As we conduct our next hearing on Monday, we will even show that the DBM earned billions from these anomalous transactions. All this money, unaccounted for according to Commission on Audit,” Andaya said.