Not only mayors but DBM insiders are spilling beans on budget anomalies –– Andaya.
MORE whistleblowers on alleged budget anomalies linked to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno are coming out in the open, claiming that infrastructure projects for Sorsogon worth billions of pesos were bid out in 2017 even before the 2018 P3.767-trillion national budget was approved by Congress, a House leader bared yesterday.
“Not only mayors are spilling the beans on anomalous budget practices within the DBM (Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Now, insiders within the department are providing us with information related to questionable budget allocations in the Bicol region,” said House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr. whose House Committee on Rules that he chaired will begin its inquiry into the alleged budget controversies and questionable allocations by Diokno in the NEP on January 3, 2019 in Naga City.
Aside from mayors, Andaya said the new whistleblowers are DBM insiders. “These DBM insiders intimated to me that under the leadership of Secretary Diokno, billions of projects in Sorsogon for 2018 started to be bid out as early November 2017. The bidding took place even as Congress was still deliberating on the 2018 budget submitted by the DBM.”
Andaya questioned why Diokno has been allegedly rushing to release the funds for Sorsogon.
“Hindi ko alam kung bakit nagmamadali si Secretary Diokno na mag-download ng pera sa Sorsogon. Wala pang aprubadong budget ang Kongreso, inumpisahan na ang bidding ng P10 billion projects para mai-award agad ito sa Sorsogon,” Andaya alleged.
“Lumalabas na hindi lang sa 2018 budget nangyari ‘yun. Pati pala noong 2017 budget, ganoon din. At itinutuloy nila ito hanggang ngayon sa proposed 2019 national budget,” said Andaya.
“The DBM under Secretary Diokno has taken Congress for a ride in the past two years. Ngayon lang namin nalaman ito. Balewala pala ang mga committee hearings at plenary debates sa Kongreso. Sinisilip pa lang namin ang budget, sinisigurado na ng DBM ang bilyon-bilyong pondo na ibubuhos sa Sorsogon. Kaya pala lagi kaming minamadali sa Kongreso na aprubahan agad ang budget. May naghihintay ng mga kontratista sa Sorsogon,” said Andaya.
Andaya Jr. bared last Saturday that the daughter of Diokno’s in-laws allegedly entered into at least four joint ventures with the purported favored contractor, CT Leoncio Construction and Trading for the implementation of almost P550-million road projects in Sorsogon.
Diokno denied any irregularity in the budget process, adding he did not know Leoncio and denied favoring it. For her part, Leoncio brushed off Andaya’s allegation that CT Leoncio Construction and Trading is a single proprietorship.
According to Andaya, Casiguran, Sorsogon Mayor Edwin Hamor has allegedly admitted in a recent television interview that his children own a construction company and may know the controversial CT Leoncio Construction and Trading.
Andaya said Hamor is the father of Jojo Sicat, the husband of Diokno’s daughter, Charlotte Justine.
Edwin Hamor’s wife, Ester is the incumbent Vice Governor of Sorsogon, said Andaya.
Andaya said that documents obtained by the House panel allegedly showed that a daughter of the Hamors, Maria Minez Hamor, owns Aremar Construction Corp.