Manila is bankrupt, says Erap
MANILA - Former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Friday defended his son, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, after the latter realigned P100 million of his pork barrel funds to the city of Manila.
"Pinalalabas na binigyan ang Maynila dahil sa ako ang Mayor. Unfair naman iyon," Mayor Estrada told dzMM.
"Walang masama kung ang lungsod ng Maynila ay tutulungan. Nagkataon lang na ako ng mayor ng Maynila, hindi dahil sa ako ang ama niya."
It was earlier revealed that Sen. Estrada realigned his P200 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to three local government units: P100 million for Manila, P50 million for Caloocan, and P50 million for Lla-lo in Cagayan.
Mayor Estrada said there is nothing wrong in the realignment, as this followed a Supreme Court ruling barring post intervention by lawmakers in the national budget.
"Gusto kong maipaabot na iyun ay pinag-usapan ng mga senador na pwede na silang maggalaw. Eh ang ginagawa ni Jinggoy, eh gusto transparent, inallocate sa tatlong lungsod (sic)," he said.
"Mabuti nga dinederecho na, inaalam kung kaninong LGU binibigay para sagutin din ng mayor iyun kung saan nilagay ang pondo. At least transparent," he added.
Sen. Estrada also explained his move, saying that the realignment was approved by the Senate plenary in the bicameral conference committee, and ratified by both houses.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad earlier said that the realigned pork barrel funds of Sen. Estrada cannot be released without a special budget request.
The P200 million in realigned pork is part of the P405 million subisidy fund for LGUs.
Manila is poor, needs funds
Mayor Estrada welcomed his son's decision to pump more funds to the city government, which he said is in dire need of resources after the previous government supposedly left it bankrupt.
He said the city government's unpaid electric bills to the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) left by his predecessor, Alfredo Lim, amount to P613.6 million. The city also owes P57.7 million to Maynilad Water Services, Inc.
"Ang Maynila, ayon sa pagaaral, at may dokumento naman yan ang University of the Philippines, ang may highest level of poverty incidence. Ang Maynila ay bangkarote. Itong minana kong lungsod ay may utang na P3.5 billion and confirmed ito ng COA (Commission on Audit)," he said.
"Ngayon eh nanlilimos na nga ako eh. Ginagamit ko ang sinasabi ng presidente natin na PPP (Public-Private Partnership). Mabuti naman sinuswerte tayo."
Estrada said among the PPP projects being deliberated by the city council is the P2 billion Manila Zoo rehabilitation project which involves Singaporean investors, and the development of the central market in partnership with SM Development Corp.