House of Representatives, Quezon City — Casiguran Mayor Edwin Hamor claimed that his town is “not a most-favored” municipality with budgetary allocations from Budget Benjamin Diokno during Tuesday’s House committee on rules hearing, conducted By Representative and Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya (1st District Camarines Sur).
Contrary to Andaya’s assertion that Casiguran, Sorsogon was favored in the alleged P51-billion budget insertions, the town was given zero allocation for infrastructure projects under the DPWH.
Based on 2018 DPWH records in the Bicol region, Albay received the highest allocation with P11.2 billion, debunking Andaya’s allegation that Sorsogon was heavily favored by Diokno.
According to DPWH record, Sorsogon came in second (P10.5 billion), Camarines Sur (P10.2 billion), Masbate (P4.5 billion), Camarines Norte (P3.3 billion) and Catanduanes (P2.5 billion).
25 other districts got more allocations than Sorsogon 1st district
In a document entitled “2019 DPWH Infrastructure Program based on National Expenditure Program,” Sorsogon’s 1st district has earmarked an allocation of P705 million, while 2nd District will receive P395 million for flood and road projects.
About 25 other provincial districts got a bigger share of infrastructure projects than Sorsogon’s 1st district where Casiguran is located.
But, Mayor Hamor asserted Casiguran is not a favored town and ranks seventh among Sorsogon towns in terms of budget allocation.
“Eighteen out of our 25 barangays are vulnerable to flooding,” he said.
Andaya’s bashing on Budget Secretary Diokno; “collateral damage” done to Sorsogon
In an earlier statement, Diokno had said: “His (Andaya’s) accusations are illusory. The numbers are wrong and the narrative he’s selling is not grounded on facts.”
He made the statement at the start of the second hearing of the House rules committee, which Andaya heads, on the alleged questionable DBM fund allocation practices and the multibillion-peso flood control scam under the Duterte administration.
Reports say Andaya, in connivance with House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA), want to oust Diokno from the Budget post and to replace him with their favored person, if not by GMA herself.
The GMA-Andaya gang in Congress is preparing the groundwork for 2022 presidential election, or for a “post-Duterte scenario”.
Andaya “squeezing” Hamors to “elbow-twist” Diokno
Andaya applied the “squeeze” on the Hamor’s of Sorsogon just to “elbow -twist” Diokno.
According to Andaya, the Hamor’s of Sorsogon own Aremar Construction. Romeo Sicat Jr., married to Diokno’s daughter Charlotte Justine, is an incorporator and son of Sorsogon Vice Gov. Ester Hamor in a previous relationship, whose husband now is Jose Edwin, mayor of Casiguran town. The mayor used to be a major shareholder of Aremar.
Mayor Hamor admitted forming Aremar Construction in 2014 but he divested his shares in 2016, when he became Casiguran Mayor.
Thus, Andaya is obsessed to apply the “heat” on the Hamor’s just to “destroy” Diokno.
He was trying to prove that Diokno has given preferential budgetary allocations to favored persons – a “perk” and privilege associated with the position which Andaya himself, then Budget Secretary under GMA, had used to enjoy when he allocated more than 2 Billion pesos dam and irrigation projects to then-Congressman Dato Arroyo (2nd District Camarines Sur), GMA’s son in 2007-08) as a “form of pay-back” when he was appointed the Budget post by GMA.
The Arroyo dam and irrigation projects were “mothballed” later. [BicolToday.com]
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