MANILA, (PNA) –Senator Teofisto Guingona III has expressed optimism that the Senate will approve the proposed measures calling for the abolition of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of the senators.
Guingona, in a radio interview on Sunday, said at least 16 of the 24 senators have already expressed support for the abolition of the P200 million PDAF or pork barrel allotted to each senator every year.
”I think in the Senate, it is clear that 16 of the 24 senators said they are for abolition of the pork,” Guingona said.
Aside from Guingona, senators Francis Escudero and Majority Leader Alan Cayetano have already filed separate Senate bills calling for the abolition of the pork barrel.
“The public funds should finance the needs of the people. Allocation and spending of the people’s money should not be in the discretion of the public officials alone,” Guingona said after filing Senate Bill No. 1524 known as the Bottom Up Budgeting Act of 2013.
Guingona is chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee which is investigating the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
He said his committee has no plan yet to summon his fellow senators linked in the controversy to attend the Senate inquiry.
However, Guingona said the senators and even the congressmen named in the scam will be given a chance to clear their names if they decide to speak before the blue ribbon committee.
”If they will attend, they are most welcome. We will listen to them in the spirit of fairness to everybody,” Guingona said.
Some of the senators who allegedly released their PDAF to “bogus” non-government organizations (NGOs) formed by scam’s mastermind Janet Lim Napoles are Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Gregorio Honasan II.