FORMER House Majority Leader Fredenil “Fred” Castro yesterday said Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson was wrong again when he accused him of lobbying for sending a letter-request for projects, explaining it has nothing to do with the unconstitutional pork barrel.
The Capiz congressman said he was just doing his job for his constituents, unlike Lacson who did not experience to be a local politician.
“I am disappointed that the good senator does not know how to distinguish pork barrel from a letter-request or better still a letter-request from lobbying,” said Castro in response to Lacson who told media that the congressman requested financial support for the construction of a municipal building in Dumalag town, Capiz.
“It was not a lobby letter. It’s a letter-request just like any other letters I sent to other senators,” Castro clarified. “Lobbying is different. My letter-request shows my resolve to help my constituents.
“It’s not pork barrel. For sure there is a great distinction between a letter-request and pork barrel/lobbying,” Castro continued.
Castro said “the statement of the good senator betrayed his allegation that he saw a slip on his table alluding that I was in his office to lobby for a project.”
“Now it surfaced from his own revelation that it’s a letter-request and not my personal presence that was in his office,” Castro stressed.
On Wednesday, Castro led lawmakers in demanding an apology from Lacson after the senator claimed that a Deputy Speaker will receive P1.5 billion while each congressman is entitled to P700 million under the national budget.
Castro also said that what he sent to Lacson was also the same letter that he has been sending to the offices of other senators.
“Anyway, the letter-request is the same as the other letter requests I submitted to the offices of other senators on the same day requesting for assistance in behalf of my constituents and my resolve to address their concern,” he said.
“The good Senate President Tito Sotto could not be clearer in his ANC statement of 25 September that projects given or requested by congressmen are not pork barrel,” Castro pointed out. “He (Sotto) hastened to explain what is pork barrel after the enactment of the appropriations law.”
“In any event, I will be very appreciative if Sen. Lacson could be kind enough to help my constituents and, I am certain, my constituents will be most grateful for his kindness,” Castro added.