MANILA - The investigation and prosecution of those allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam is a good opportunity for Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and his staff to clear their names, the DBM said Friday.
The DBM, in a press statement, said the Sandiganbayan's issuance of arrest warrants for Relampagos and his staff will not affect the agency's pursuit of budget reforms towards greater transparency and accountability under the Aquino administration.
"We understand that the PDAF scam investigation is a crucial, necessary step in establishing greater transparency and accountability in the Philippine government," the DBM said. "We recognize as well that the current probe is a good opportunity for Usec. Relampagos and his staff to clear their name and present the truth in the appropriate venue."
The DBM praised Relampagos for his leadership, and said he served the budget department for many years "with faith and dedication."
"We... will extend the necessary support to them in the course of the investigation," it added.
"We have confidence in the wisdom and fairness of the Sandiganbayan in its pursuit of cases related to the PDAF scam. Although recent revelations on PDAF misuse have on occasion been dubious and conflicting, we are optimistic that the Sandiganbayan will carefully study all evidence at its disposal and resolve the cases accordingly," the DBM said.
"We in the DBM believe that corruption has no place in the management of public funds. The National Budget should wholly serve the citizens and respond to the country's unique development needs. We join the country in calling for the swift dispensation of justice in these cases, and trust that those responsible for the abuse of public funds will be held answerable to the Filipino people," it said.