Press Release
April 10, 2016


Independent vice-presidential bet Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said he did not receive a single centavo of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation from the national government during the nine-year administration of former President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo when he was congressman.

Escudero, however, led the crafting of the national expenditure program in 2014 that abolished pork barrel following the ruling of the Supreme Court that declared the PDAF as unconstitutional, when he was chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance,.

"Alam niyo po, siyam na taon akong walangPDAF sa ilalim ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Arroyo dahil lamang ipinaglaban ko ang katotohanan at ang kalayaan ng ating halalan," Escudero told the Pilipinas Debates 2016 for vice-presidential aspirants organized by the Commission on Elections, with CNN Philippines, Rappler and BusinessMirror at the University of Sto. Tomas.

"Ni hindi ho isyu siguro ang PDAF dahil sa mahabang panahon na ako'y naging kongresista ay wala pong nare-release sa akin na PDAF sa ilalim ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Arroyo," added Escudero, who served as spokesman of the late movie icon Fernando Poe, Jr. who was defeated by Arroyo in the 2004 presidential election that was marred by allegations of widespread electoral fraud.

Being a staunch critic of the Arroyo government, the veteran lawmaker said, he did not get any PDAF allocation when he was representative of Sorsogon and during his early years as senator.

Escudero, however, said he abolished the pork barrel system and institutionalized it by including strict provisions in the general appropriation act that disallow the PDAF in the wake of allegations on the misuse of the lawmakers' discretionary funds in billions of pesos.

"Ako po ang Finance Committee chairman ng Senado na nagpatupad ng pasya at desisyon ng Korte Suprema na nag-abolish sa PDAF. In fact, sinulat namin sa GAA (General Appropriations Act) mismo 'yung eksaktong mga salita at pangungusap sa desisyon ng korte sa kauna-unahang General Appropriations Act na nagbawal sa PDAF," the vice-presidential race frontrunner said.

Escudero's PDAF allocation is detailed in his website:

In 2009 during a televised debate among potential presidential bets, Escudero already supported the abolition of the PDAF and pushed for the institutionalization of line-item budgeting.

He said that based on his experience, "one could still serve as a congressman or senator without the pork barrel."

Coupled with the enactment of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, Escudero believes that government processes should be revisited to eliminate "areas of discretion" to rid the state of corruption.

News Latest News Feed