Ping urges COA probe into Miriam's expenses

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Jan 17 2013 04:40 PM | Updated as of Jan 18 2013 04:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The word war won’t stop even with Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago’s health woes.

In an interview with radio dzMM, Senator Panfilo Lacson urged the Commission on Audit (COA) to also look into alleged anomalies of “one senator....aside from what [that person] is saying against 22 senators,” obviously referring to Santiago.

Lacson said: “Tignan ng COA at malaman kung sinong senador na pati katulong ay naka-payroll sa opisina, pati asawa ay may grocery allowance…Sinong senador ang nirerentahan ang isang satellite office sa sarili nyang building.”

Lacson said he could not help but react after Santiago appeared on ANC's Headstarton Wednesday and attacked all senators--except herself--as being “magnanakaw [thieves]."

Santiago has been feuding with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile for the past several months. The tiff further escalated when Enrile admitted giving 18 senators P1.6 million and P250,000 to his Senate foes last Christmas.

Santiago returned the money, saying it was an “unconscionable” waste of people’s money.

Lacson’s name got dragged into the mess. In the same ANC interview, Santiago alluded to Lacson as one of Enrile’s “attack dogs.” She said the attack dog pretends to be a lawyer.

Lacson said he may not be a lawyer but he knows the processes in the Senate. He said there is nothing wrong with the additional Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) given by Enrile, which are accounted for by the senators.

He said Santiago should just confine the “war” between her and Enrile and not drag other names into the controversy.

Santiago has refused to grant anymore interviews after suffering hypertension after the ANC interview. She supposedly suffered from a mild stroke after lambasting her foes during the ANC program.