Press Release
August 29, 2013


"We wish to clarify that the P71.7 million additional budget for the Office of the Senate President that Senator Santiago mentioned in her press release yesterday were funds allocated for the operational requirements of the said office, and such budget did not serve as additional personal income of then Senate President Enrile, nor were such funds used for his personal purposes, contrary to what the statement of Senator Santiago appears to mean.

"As we already clarified earlier this year when the controversy about the expenditure of our office arose, the budget requirements and expenditures of the Senate President cannot be simply compared to that of the other Senators, and to simply say that he received P71.7 million 'just by being (an) officer (s) of the Senate' is most unfair.

"While we confirm that the amount of P71.708 million allocated for the Office of the Senate President from January to December 2011 as reported by the Commission on Audit, we wish to emphasize that by the nature and functions of his office as head of the chamber both as its political and administrative head, it is reasonable to expect that the Office of the Senate President would require the biggest budgetary allocation compared to the other members and officers of the Senate.

"Apart from the legislative work of the Senate President, the office also provided funds to address special requirements and contingencies of the offices under the Secretariat and the committees of the Senate. Sometimes, we also augmented the foreign travel funds of Senators and Secretariat officials and employees who went on official travel. In reality, the funds of the Office of the Senate President were also made available to other offices. Apart from this, the OSP also had to address the needs of a much larger number of constituents, socio-civic organizations and indigents requesting for financial assistance.

"As Senator Enrile has repeatedly said, the books of accounts showing how the budget allocated to the Office of the Senate President under him was spent are open for the public scrutinize."

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