Press Release
August 22, 2013


PDAF probe should cover GMA, Aquino administrations

Senator Nancy Binay today said she would rather see former senators Panfilo Lacson or Joker Arroyo appointed by President Aquino to head a fact-finding body to look into the reported misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

She also said there is no need for a special investigator for the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, as Senator TG Guingona III, the committee's chair, "is as capable and impartial as former Senator Lacson and Arroyo."

"Either Sen. Lacson or Sen. Joker Arroyo is best suited to head a special body to probe the reported misuse of PDAF. If named by the President, they should have the resources and the authority of the executive behind them. These former senators have the experience, knowledge and integrity needed in pursuing the investigation," Binay said.

But Binay said such an investigation, whether to be conducted by the executive or the Senate, must not only be confined to PDAF misuse during the previous administration but should include how PDAF is being disbursed and managed under the Aquino administration.

"We must be thorough in our investigation. If we want to really look into the entire system and see how it has been abused, mismanaged or abused, then we should also expand it to include PDAF disbursements under the present administration. To confine it only to the previous regime could invite comments that the probe is selective," she said.

Binay said the probe should be "full, across-the-board and multi-level" and include implementing agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well.

"There is a need to fully review the policy and process. One of the problems is that NGOs seem to have been empowered to the point that they have escaped accountability," Binay said.

Binay suggested certain measures to control PDAF: to either regulate the use of NGOs as recipients of the fund or the outright banning of NGOs from directly receiving the funds.

"There should also be a strict accreditation process for these NGOs to undergo and the reporting system should be institutionalized--and there should be accountability in all levels," she added.

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