Press Release
August 23, 2013


I commend the Commission on Audit under the leadership of its Chair, Hon. Grace Pulido Tan, for finally coming out with the findings of its Special Audit of the implementation of legislators' PDAF and Various Infrastructure including Local Projects (VILP) covering the period 2007-2009.

When news reports came out early this year on alleged anomalies involving the PDAF where I was named as one of those Senators whose PDAF ended up allegedly in bogus projects of equally bogus NGOs, I was the very first to call for a FULL DISCLOSURE of the COA's SPECIAL AUDIT REPORT. I issued that call way before the name of Ms. Janet Lim Napoles came up.

In connection with the COA report, having been cited as having availed of the highest or biggest PDAF or pork barrel funding among all legislators for the period covered by the audit, I wish to point out the following:

1. The Executive summary of the Report itself states (on pp. 5-6) that:

"a. The DBM could not provide the Team, despite repeated requests, with complete schedule of releases per legislator from PDAF for soft projects and VILP for hard projects. Only the schedule of releases from VILP for hard projects identified by the legislators named therein was provided, covering releases of P32.347 Billion x x x x

"b. From the data gathered by the Team x x x x, such schedule excluded around P69.261 Billion x x x x. The concerned legislators of such releases cannot, however, be identified.x x x x"

2. Hence, if we were to look at THE TOTALITY of such releases identified by legislators under the VILP, PDAF and "other sources", this amounts to P115.988 BILLION. But actually, the COA was only able to trace or audit P46.727 Billion or 40% because of the DBM's failure or refusal to cooperate with the audit.

3. The DBM, especially under former Secretary Rolando Andaya, Jr. under the previous administration which released these funds IN EXCESS OF THE COMBINED APPROPRIATION FOR THE SAME PERIOD BY P50.874 BILLION (ACCORDING TO COA), must explain why it kept and continues to keep the COA and the public in the dark regarding this almost P70 Billion in legislators' infrastructure projects? Moreover, why did the DBM fail or refuse to disclose to COA the complete schedule of PDAF releases for soft projects?

4. WHO among us Senators and Congressmen asked for such releases under the VILP? To what kind of projects did this huge amount go? Were these legitimate expenditures?

5. Was and is the DBM protecting some "sacred cows" or hiding the identity of the legislators concerned as well as its own negligence, incompetence, if not complicity and participation, in what is now known as the PORK BARREL OR PDAF SCAM?


1. Aside from being culled from missing or incomplete records for reasons I have discussed above, the pork barrel amounts attributed to me are distorted and misleading.

2. For 2009 alone, news reports quote the DBM website as showing that I availed of my PDAF to the tune of P727 Million.

3. Our records of the Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) issued by the DBM, however, show that the amount of P325 million representing the projects of the following legislators were attributed to me as part of my PDAF in 2009:

Sen. Rodolfo Biazon P20 M
Sen. Chiz Escudero P20 M
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada P50 M
Sen. Lito Lapid P42 M
Sen. Loren Legarda P33 M
Sen. Mar Roxas          P20 M
Sen. Miriam Santiago P50 M
Congressmen-Members of the CA P90 M
TOTAL: P325 Million

The above-mentioned legislators merely requested for my endorsement as then Senate President for the release of funds for the various projects under their own PDAF, some of which were accommodated under the Economic Stimulus Fund under the 2009 GAA. Yet, the DBM incorrectly accounted for these projects and attributed them to me.

4. For the information of the public and for the sake of transparency, I hope that my colleagues will bear me out on the following facts which need to be laid out in the open in the light of the present controversy:

  • The leaders/officers of both houses of Congress, including the Minority Floor Leader and the Chairs of the House Appropriations Committee/Senate Committee on Finance are allocated additional amounts OVER AND ABOVE their regular allocations for PDAF (soft) and infrastructure (hard) projects annually;

  • The leaders of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee confer with each other and with the Budget Secretary as to the amounts that are agreed to be distributed EITHER AS PORK BARREL ALLOCATIONS OR AS BUDGETARY INSERTIONS. This is a fact. The PDAF and the VILP do not represent the totality of each legislator's "congressional initiatives (CIs)".

  • Former Budget Secretary Andaya himself said that the P200 Million per Senator and P70 Million per Congressman were "minimum" amounts as he put it. Senate President Drilon on the other hand correctly pointed out that the actual RELEASE of the pork barrel was a prerogative of the President.

  • Therefore, the PDAF or pork barrel is not really the "equalizer" that it purports to be. The system confers upon the Executive the power and discretion to either "deprive or bless" any legislator; to slash his pork barrel, delay its release or to deprive him altogether; or to grant amounts OVER AND ABOVE the budgeted amounts for each member of Congress.

Under these circumstances and in the light of the revelations made in connection with the Napoles and/or PDAF scam, the public is justified in its outrage and urgent call to abolish the pork barrel which was restored in 1989.

But if it must be scrapped, the pork barrel system should be SCRAPPED TOTALLY. We should not only look at scrapping the PDAF but include the various "pork barrel" or lump sum appropriations of ALL DEPARTMENTS OF GOVERNMENT under the GAA as well.

I am ready to be investigated and prosecuted if anyone can prove that I financially benefited from the unscrupulous and illegal schemes of criminal syndicates, whether masterminded by Ms. Janet Lim Napoles or her ilk and cohorts in and out of government.

In the presence of Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Norman Bordadora, I had earlier stated that if any of my PDAF or pork barrel funds can be proven to have gone to my own pocket, I am ready to surrender whatever assets I and my family own, any or all of it if they want. If I were to choose something of value to leave to my family when I depart from this world, I would choose to leave HONOR and A GOOD NAME, nothing else.

The dark cloud of suspicion that I have been a party to this large-scale robbery of the public coffers is most unfortunate. The on-going investigation and subsequent prosecution of the guilty parties based on the evidence as directed by the President is a welcome opportunity for me to clear my name and that of my office.

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