BALANGA City - Bataan Gov. Albert S. Garcia on Thursday welcomed the investigation to be conducted on the alleged scam involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund of some senators and congressmen.
“Public funds ito at pera ng taong-bayan kaya dapat na maimmbistigahan para malaman ang katotohanan at hindi na maulit,” the new provincial governor said.
Garcia, former three-term congressman, said he heard that the senate, congress and the National Bureau of Investigation will conduct its own investigation. “We will wait for the results so we can act accordingly,” he said.
The young governor said he was sure that the Commission on Audit has findings on the transactions on the specified time that will be summoned during the investigation. “After this, we will know more about the issue,” he said.
On the municipalities in Bataan mentioned in the news report of receiving from P5 million to P10M each, Garcia said he will check the COA reports; “Kung may findings, then we will pursue them,” he said.
He said that in his case being congressman for nine years, his PDAF is beyond question. “A big chunk of my PDAF goes to scholarship and our records are transparent and open for anyone to check,” he said.
Reports showed that seven to 10 municipalities out of 11 towns and a city in Bataan were included in the alleged fund scam amounting to about P100M.
Former Dinalupihan Mayor Joel Payumo, Samal Mayor Gene dela Fuente and Mariveles Mayor Jesse Concepcion denied having received P10M from the pork barrel of senators or congressmen.
They claimed their signatures in the alleged letter-request were faked. Other mayors could still not be contacted. They were either on seminar or attending official transactions.
“As early as last year, meron ng nag-iinvestigate dito at meron silang na-discovered na merong consummated project na hindi ko alam. In fact pati signature ko falsified,” Concepcion said in a text message.
Balanga City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III said he was still not mayor in 2006 when the city was mentioned to have received assistance from PDAF. During his incumbency, he said that he has not received any such funding.
“We are having the records checked if there really was a funding request, if the money arrived and who the beneficiaries were,” the city mayor said.
Thelma Ratonel, Limay municipal administrator, said from July 1, 2010 to the present, they have not received any P10M assistance out of the PDAF of senators.
“We have only received P100,000 from Sen. Chiz Escudero under Notice of Funding Check dated April 2013 from the Department of Budget and Management and these were used in development projects,” she said.
“Pinahahalungkat pa ni Mayor Roque ang mga records ng previous years,” Ratonel said.