THE supposed P10-billion pork barrel scam of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles is just a small amount or “petty cash” compared to the alleged P332-billion flood control scam under the leadership of embattled Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, a House opposition leader said yesterday.
“Petty cash ‘yung kay Napoles,” House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez told reporters in a press conference when asked about the magnitude of the alleged flood control scam compared to the Napoles case.
House senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza questioned the sudden huge allocations by Diokno for flood control projects.
“It (flood control) will be a bigger source of corruption than Napoles,” Atienza told reporters in the same press conference.
“Ano ang priorities ni Secretary Diokno? Bakit bigla na lang all of sudden ngayon namaga ang flood control projects? Kapuna-puna ito na maglalagay ng isang backhoe, ‘yung backhoe tatagal din ng isang taon kinakalawang na hindi gumagalaw. Magde-deliver ng mga apat, limang malalaking concrete pipes bubungkalin ang area hindi gagalaw,” Atienza lamented.
Diokno vehemently denied the P332-billion flood control projects scam as alleged by House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr., who chairs the House Committee on Rules which is now investigating Diokno’s questionable practices in the budget process.
“The DBM believes that citing these amounts to present a picture of a ‘flood control scam’ facilitated by the DBM is irresponsible and misleading,” the DBM said in a statement. “The amount representing the proposed allocation for FY 2019 cannot be accounted for yet.”
Earlier, Andaya said Diokno allegedly inserted billions of funds for the flood control projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) without the knowledge of DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.
Andaya said the purported non-consultation with Villar is an “utter disregard” of DPWH Order 23 Series of 2015 regarding flood-funding requests.
He said the DBM allegedly also placed the funds in areas “not prone to floods” and with the absence of any master plan in some parts of Bicol region.