Press Release
January 7, 2010

Arroyo fails governance test anew by splurging
in 2nd district of Pampanga - Chiz

Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo failed the governance test anew by splurging close to 500 million pesos on infrastructure projects alone in the 2nd district of Pampanga where she will run virtually unopposed for the Lower House.

"The expenditures were driven by purely political considerations--her candidacy. Governance is about allocating scarce resources. She clearly did not govern in this instance," he said.

"I do not begrudge those who benefited from this self-serving act. But these allocations show how the politics of patronage has become a norm in the past nine years," Escudero said.

The Bicolano lawmaker issued the statement following the disclosure made by Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros that Arroyo spent P459 million for roads, drainage canals and municipal buildings in the district where her son, Rep. Mikee Arroyo, is the incumbent congressman.

Hontiveros said that the amount spent by Arroyo is nine times the infrastructure allocation granted to each congressman.

"This negative example makes it imperative for the next administration to take the necessary steps to prevent fiscal abuses of this nature by future presidents," said the 40-year old senator, whose own pork barrel allocations have been withheld since 2005 after figuring in the impeachment moves against Arroyo.

Escudero filed a resolution last year urging the Senate committee on Finance proposed the repeal or amendment of Presidential Decree No. 1177 and Book VI of Executive Order No. 292 "with the end in view of reverting to Congress the power of the purse as prescribed by the Constitution."

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