'Just don't ask from us!': Lani's defense of pork goes viral
'Just don't ask from us!': Lani's defense of pork goes viral
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - August 21, 2013 - 3:03pm

MANILA, Philippines - Actress and Cavite 2nd district Rep. Lani Mercado Revilla has said she is not in favor of scrapping congressional pork, and her words were met with angry comments online.

"Basta 'wag lang manghihingi sa amin ang mga tao!" Mercado amusingly told PEP.ph in an interview last week, referring to lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund, billions of which were allegedly spent on ghost projects and non-existent organizations.

Her husband, actor and Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr., has been tagged in the pork barrel scam. Reports even pointed fingers at their son Leonard Bryan for being a business partner with James Christopher Napoles, son of Janet Lim Napoles, suspected to be the mastermind of the scheme.

"E ano'ng ibibigay namin? Hindi naman puwede yung pinaghihirapan namin dahil sa personal naman namin 'yun, sa mga anak, sa mga pang-araw-araw na paggastos namin," Mercado added.

Her statement has been making the rounds online, drawing bitter reactions from netizens who criticized Mercado for being "thick-faced" for seeming to claim public money as lawmakers' own.

Facebook user Frederick Bazar slapped solons for their false generosity.

"Galing sa pork barrel ang binibigay nila, tapus papalabasin pa nila galing sa kanila! Pero 'pag walang pork barrel at may humingi ng tulong sa kanila, 'di nila tutulungan ... Ayus ka din Lani Mercado 'no!," Bazar said.

Ald Win, another netizen, weighed in: "So you are not charitable, you only become charitable through (other) people's money."

Facebook user Reynan Carlo Reyes even urged Mercado to resign for shaming the spirit of public service.

"Resign now! Servants never need money to help people. But doing good is important. Tumulong ka kung isasapuso mo, kung hindi, 'wag kang tumakbo," Reyes said.

Tuesday Navarro was more resigned, and instead blamed Mercado's voters.

"Binoto n'yo tapos magrereklamo kayo. Wala eh. 'Bobotante' eh," Navarro posted on Facebook.

Mercado, however, also insisted that politicians' pork barrel should instead be used with "transparency."

"Basta ako, meron akong ulat sa bayan. Isinusulat ko dun yung mga ipinapagawa ko. Siyempre, hindi ko na ina-accounting kung magkano ang ibinigay ko sa patay. Nilalagay ko lang, financial assistance, then yung amount," she said.

Mercado also said she is confident that records of her funds are readily available to the public, who will see nothing wrong with how she spends them.

"Kapag tsinek naman ang record sa City Hall, alam naman, nandoon naman. Hindi naman ‘yan nalalagay sa maling pamamaraan," she said.

The lawmaker also echoed her husband's statement on his supposed involvement in the pork barrel scandal, saying it has been crafted by political adversaries to implicate them.

"Ano lang, kung merong kailangang imbestigahan, imbestigahan nilang lahat. Huwag silang mamili dahil kasama sa partido at hindi yung merong tina-target dahil may inaabangan sa 2016," she said.

ACTRESS AND CAVITE ALD WIN CITY HALL FACEBOOK FREDERICK BAZAR JAMES CHRISTOPHER NAPOLES JANET LIM NAPOLES LANI MERCADO LANI MERCADO REVILLA MERCADO
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