MANILA -- Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Gregorio Honasan are asking why they are being linked to a supposed Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) internal investigation on questionable livelihood projects.
News reports linked Estrada to projects amounting to P70 million, while Honasan has been tagged in similar projects amounting to almost P150 million.
But according to Estrada, it is the DAR which should be questioned as the implementing agency and not him since he merely endorsed to the agency the requests relayed to him by several local government units (LGUs).
Reading a photocopied document from Mayor Filipina Grace America of the municipality of Infanta, Quezon, Estrada highlighted the LGU's request in seeking P5 million funding for agriculture-related projects aimed at helping farmers and communities of their town to cope in uncertain economic difficulties.
"Like any request forwarded to my office, I merely endorsed it," said Estrada.
He explained that the approval or rejection of such request lies with the authority of the agency.
He also showed a page on the multi-page document showing that the project's funding will be drawn from Budget 158 or the Agrarian Reform Fund, to highlight the fact that the project would not be drawn from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Honasan, meantime, questioned why the agency was publicizing such investigation, making it appear that some senators are already indicted.
"There is no piece of document that will link us to that project, it's only an endorsement," Honasan said.