MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago admits receiving different amounts of additional maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) budgets in the past years.
This stems from the issue of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s move to distribute additional MOOE last December 2012 to 18 senators. Santiago and 3 other senators were not included.
Santiago said excluding her from getting the additional funds is unconstitutional.
She said the timing of Enrile’s distribution is suspect.
“What is the law that gives you the power to pick and choose? Ang aking punto bawat buwan meron kang MOOE. Bakit ngayon, nagbuhos ang Senado ng additional budget by end of the year e sarado opisina?” she asked in an ANC interview.
“Makatarungan ba yan? Ipamahagi bilang Christmas gift sa isa't isa? Next year kaya, payag kayo P3 million ipamigay? It's not only constitutional, it is also unethical and immoral,” she added.
Santiago said there are pertinent laws on managing public funds.
She also noted she was “crucified” by fellow lawmakers when she returned her office savings back to the Senate secretariat in 1995.