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Diokno denies Bangsamoro plebiscite not funded 

Ryan Macasero - Philstar.com
Diokno denies Bangsamoro plebiscite not funded 
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno (left) denies accusations by House Minority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. (right) that he did not allocate budget for the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite.
File photo / PhilStar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno denied the latest allegations by House Minority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. (Camarines Sur) that the upcoming Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite was not allocated for in the budget.

Diokno said in a statement sent to Philstar.com Tuesday afternoon that this was just “another false news” by Andaya. 

In a statement Monday, Andaya accused Diokno of failing to provide P857 million to the Commission on Elections for the plebiscite happening in a few weeks. 

“There’s P111.8 million in the 2018 General Appropriations Act and another P95.8 million in the 2019 national expenditure program,” Diokno explained. 

He explained that Comelec has continuing appropriations amounting to P409.5 million as of the end of September 2018. “If more is needed, the executive department can source it from the 2018 contingent fund, which has a balance of P3.5 billion as of today.” 

The plebiscite for the BOL will take place between January 21 and February 6 in selected areas in Mindanao. An estimated 2.8 million voters will participate in ratifying the law.

About 1.2 million ballots have already been printed for the plebiscite so far.

READ: Printing of ballots for Bangsamoro plebiscite completed

This is the latest of several accusations Andaya has thrown at the budget secretary. 

He’s accused the “in-laws” of Diokno of allegedly benefitting from tens of millions in commissions from government contracts funded from huge sums he supposedly allocated to the province of Sorsogon.

READ: Andaya: Diokno in-laws got millions in commissions

“Aremar Construction, which is owned by the in-laws of Secretary Diokno, cornered billions of pesos worth of projects in Sorsogon using dummy contractors, who deposited at least P70 million worth of kickbacks in its bank account,” Andaya said on January 5.

He also accused Diokno of being behind an alleged P332 billion flood control scam, where funds were allocated for “non-existent” flood control projects in the Bicol region. 

READ: House probe uncovers P332-billion flood fund scam

Diokno has categorically denied all of Andaya’s accusations and declined to participate in the House panel’s investigation. 

ANDAYA BANGSAMORO ORGANIC LAW BOL DIOKNO
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