MANILA - House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr on Thursday said his arraignment for cases related to alleged misuse of Malampaya funds during his term as budget secretary has a "nice timing."
Andaya, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, and others accused in 194 criminal cases in connection with the P900-million Malampaya fund scam are due for arraignment on Friday.
"Nice timing. That’s very good timing, just when all of these were coming out. I expect it," Andaya told ANC's Headstart.
The lawmaker and former Cabinet official, who is accused in 97 cases, hopes to clear his name when he faces the court.
"If we would like to go back in history, the original charge for me was plunder. I’m here in front of you, I never spent time in any penal institution. The Ombudsman itself downgraded the charges against me," he said.
"It’s good that just like the P75-billion issue, no one believed me at first. With that arraignment, I will have the chance to move forward and show them that I have nothing to do with it," he added.
Congress failed to approve the P3.7-trillion budget for 2019 before the end of last year due to supposed insertions by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the presence of pork barrel funds. The government is currently running on a reenacted appropriation plan.
Andaya has filed a petition before the Supreme Court to compel the DBM to release the 4th tranche of salary increase for state workers.