MANILA, Philippines - Detained former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo received a total of P109.2 million in pork barrel funds last year.
Her 2012 fund releases included the P39.2-million balance of her Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation for 2011.
PDAF is the official name of the congressional pork barrel. Every year, it allocates P200 million for each senator and P70 million for each member of the House of Representatives.
The former president is detained at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City on a plunder case. She is also facing election sabotage charges.
She devoted all her 2012 PDAF funds to her district, unlike in 2011 when she shared a third of her P30.8 million with seven allies, namely, Amelita Villarosa of Mindoro Occidental, Danilo Suarez of Quezon, Martin Romualdez of Leyte, Arthur Yap of Bohol, Marc Douglas Cagas of Davao del Sur, Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales, and her son Diosdado of Camarines Sur.
She gave away some funds to them despite the fact that five of them – Villarosa, Suarez, Romualdez, Yap, and Cagas – had availed themselves of their full-year P70-million allocation in 2011.
In the case of Magsaysay and Rep. Arroyo of Camarines Sur, they were “pork-less” in the past two years, along with another Arroyo son – Juan Miguel of the party-list group Ang Galing Pinoy – and Augusto Syjuco Jr. of Iloilo.
When she was president, Arroyo starved her critics and members of the opposition, including then Tarlac congressman and later senator Benigno Aquino III, of their PDAF allocations. – With Paolo Romero