Lacson to Palace: Help Unmask Legislator Behind P200M Double Appropriation

If Malacañang wants to come clean on the issue, it should lead in efforts to unmask the legislator said to be behind the redundant appropriation of a total of P400 million for the road extension project from Parañaque City to the South Luzon Expressway, Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said today. 

This as he revealed that the minority bloc in the Senate would be filing a resolution seeking an inquiry into the scam unearthed during the Development Budget Coordinating Council hearing last Monday.

He said the departments of budget and public works and highways have all the pertinent documents to unravel who was behind the congressional insertion of P200 million for the same `road to nowhere’ project as reflected in the General Appropriations Act of 2008.

“All it would take is a directive from Malacañang for the DPWH and DBM to provide information on who identified that project for funding,” he said.

On Monday, Lacson grilled budget secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. on a double appropriation for a stretch of road appearing in separate entries in the GAA.

The two entries for the same road were marked as “C-5 Extension” and one for “Carlos P. Garcia Avenue Extension,” the new name of C-5. Andaya merely argued that it was a congressional insertion without elaborating.

Lacson earlier said that even if this were an initiative of Malacañang’s allies, the Palace should show its “adherence to good governance” by haling those responsible to court.

Lacson, however, said that if Malacañang indeed had nothing to do with the double appropriation, he is ready to apologize.

“If it can be proven later on that Malacañang had nothing to do with the appropriation, I am ready to apologize to Mrs. Arroyo, Sec. Andaya and the people of Malacañang,” he said.

But he stressed that what is important at this time is for Malacañang and DPWH to cooperate in the prospective Senate investigation because they have the information needed.

This is one instance that the Palace can prove its claims that it will not tolerate corruption as part of its good governance.

“What is important is the cooperation of Malacañang and DPWH. They have the documents and they know where the extra P200 million went or was supposed to go as the case maybe. The Senate and Malacañang can be allies in exposing who is behind this,” he said.