Aug 192013
Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV on Monday said he will not use his P200-million “pork barrel” allocation until charges are filed against those linked to the alleged scam involving these discretionary funds.

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, Aquino said his decision to suspend the use of his pork barrel funds is in response to the “public clamor” against these controversial funds.

“People are already getting impatient—and that’s a good thing.The clamor only means that people have come to expect more from their government, and it’s good because it means they’re serious about good governance,” Aquino said.

“To show that we’re equally serious about the matter, we’re suspending the use of our office’s own PDAF,” the neophyte lawmaker added.

Aquino made this announcement a month after the Philippine Daily Inquirer ran a series of reports detailing how fake civil society groups supposedly used pork barrel funds of some senators and House members to fund ghost projects worth P10 billion.

The National Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Ombudsman are currently conducting separate probes of the alleged anomaly.

Last Friday, the COA released its report showing that over P6 billion from “pork barrel” funds went to questionable non-government organizations from 2007 to 2009.

Aquino, a first cousin of President Benigno Aquino III, also called for “clearer and stricter” guidelines on the use of the pork barrel fund, formally known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Earlier this month, President Aquino said he is not in favor of abolishing the PDAF despite the various controversies surrounding it since it supposedly help implement projects in communities. Andreo Calonzo/BM/HS, GMA News

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