Solon urges Lacson to reveal 'pork' in Senate budget

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Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 6) — A lawmaker from the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives on Thursday called on Senator Panfilo Lacson to reveal details about the "pork barrel" or discretionary funds allegedly inserted by senators in the proposed 2019 national budget.

This amid Lacson's claims that multibillion pesos worth of pork barrel funds were inserted by some congressmen in the ₱3.575 trillion budget for next year.

READ: Lacson bares P130 billion in 'pork funds' hidden in 2019 budget

"We hope that Senator Lacson will be thorough para mapakita 'yung extent ng pork barrel insertion," ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio said.

Tinio said the insertion of pork barrel funds in the budget bill is normal in the House, with several lawmakers allegedly getting their own allocation.

"Hindi lang naman sa kongreso o House of Representatives nangyayari yan. Sa Senate din nagkakaroon ng mas malaking insertions," he said.

But this year, Tinio said the Makabayan bloc was unable to scrutinize the pork barrel funds in the General Appropriations Bill since they were not given copies of the measure as it was approved on third reading.

"Hindi dini-debate o dini-discuss sa plenaryo yung mga insertions na yan. It's not PDAF, but it's still pork barrel," he said.

Tinio said he was not surprised by Lacson's exposé about the ₱2.4 billion in pork barrel funds purportedly earmarked for the district of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Lacson, during the plenary debates on the national appropriation Wednesday, maintained that congressmen realigned items in the proposed budget amounting to ₱56.7 billion to their respective districts.

He said a congressman supposedly received ₱1.9 billion worth of projects while a congresswoman got ₱2.4 billion, ₱500 million of which went to farm-to-market roads.

Lacson did not identify the congresswoman, but he said some of the farm-to-market road projects are located in Lubao and Porac, Pampanga. Both municipalities are part of Pampanga's second district represented by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The Supreme Court in 2013 declared as unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund, or more commonly known as the pork barrel.

CNN Philippines' correspondent Joyce Ilas and digital producer Robert Vergara contributed to this report.