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12月17日のまにら新聞から

Duterte supports Diokno "hundred percent", says official

[ 312 words|2018.12.17|英字 (English) ]

President Rodrigo Duterte still supports Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno a "hundred percent" despite the alleged irregularities in the proposed P3.757 trillion budget for next year, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Sunday.

"It's still there, hundred percent," Andanar said in an interview over DZBB radio station when asked if Duterte still supports Diokno.

During the recent Question Hour at the House of Representatives, some lawmakers, particularly Majority Leader Rolando Andaya, questioned about the P75 billion "insertions" that the Department of Budget and Management made on the proposed budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways without the knowledge of Secretary Mark Villar.

There were also questions regarding one private firm that allegedly managed to bag most of the DPWH projects, which was being blamed to Diokno.

But Diokno has said that the DBM has no technical expertise in choosing the contractor as it is the DPWH, which has the capability of doing it. He also refused to call as insertions the P75 billion, saying it was an adjustment made to the DPWH budget in order to meet the infrastructure spending target of the government for next year.

A day after the Question Hour, the House came out with a resolution urging Duterte to remove Diokno in the Cabinet. But Duterte rejected the call. At least eight Cabinet members also expressed their support for the Budget chief and slammed some lawmakers for the disrespect that they have accorded to Diokno during the Question Hour.

Andanar also said that during the Christmas party last Friday with the Cabinet members, the President expressed his happiness and confidence to them.

"He also reminded us about his order to avoid corruption and he said, he is happy with the Cabinet because majority of the members are non-politicians and if non-politician members, of course, they are not beholden to (other) politicians," Andanar said. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS