MANILA, Philippines - Six of the 23 senators have received pork barrel funds since the Senate impeachment court overwhelmingly voted on May 29 to convict and remove from office former chief justice Renato Corona.
Two of the six voted to acquit Corona. They are Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
A Department of Budget and Management (DBM) report yesterday showed that Santiago received P20 million on June 13 and P80 million in March.
Marcos, on the other hand, received P73.450 million on June 4, a week after Corona’s conviction, and P15.280 million on May 3.
The only other senator who voted for Corona’s acquittal was Joker Arroyo. He and Panfilo Lacson have not been touching their annual Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations since their election to the Senate 11 years ago.
PDAF is the official name of the congressional pork barrel.
Senators and House members are entitled to P200 million and P70 million each, respectively.
Vice President Jejomar Binay is also entitled to P200-million PDAF allocation.
The other senators who received PDAF releases after the impeachment court ousted Corona were Edgardo Angara, P55 million on June 5 and P25 million on May 8; Franklin Drilon, P32.5 million on June 11 and P72 million between Jan. 18 and May 22; Ramon Revilla Jr., P10 million on June 5 and P4 million on June 6; and Sergio Osmeña III, P1 million on June 6 and P1.3 million on March 14.
The releases to Santiago, Marcos, Angara, and Revilla are part of their P200-million PDAF allocation for 2012, while Drilon’s and Osmeña’s releases are part of their 2011 funds.
PDAF appropriations are good for two years.
Santiago had claimed that Malacañang might have offered additional pork barrel funds to senators to obtain a 20-3 vote for Corona’s conviction.
The Palace denied the accusation.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile made a similar denial and challenged Santiago to prove her claim.
In the course of the impeachment trial, Corona’s lawyers alleged that Malacañang offered senator-judges P200 million each in additional pork barrel funds for their client’s conviction.
They later apologized and the impeachment court punished one of them.
Other senators who received PDAF releases before the May 29 Corona vote were Alan Peter Cayetano, P57 million for 2011; Pia Cayetano, P63.7 million for 2012 and P124.4 million for 2011; Jinggoy Estrada, P100 million for 2012 and P95 million for 2011; Enrile, P100 million for 2012 and P4 million for 2011; Francis Escudero, P96 million for 2012; Gregorio Honasan, P100 million (2012); Lito Lapid, P100 million (2012); Loren Legarda, P11.1 million (2011); Francis Pangilinan, P31 million (2011); Aquilino Pimentel III, P59 million (2011); Vicente Sotto III, P100 million (2012); Antonio Trillanes IV, P10 million (2011); and Manuel Villar Jr., P50 million (2012).
The DBM report did not indicate any PDAF release for Ralph Recto.