MANILA - Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez washed his hands of the alleged P5 billion infrastructure allocation for his district in Davao del Norte under the proposed 2019 budget.
Alvarez said the current House leadership was the one that tinkered with the National Expenditure Program submitted to Congress by the Executive Branch.
"Ang nangyari dito kung ano 'yung nilagay sa NEP, doon sila nagtanggal at nagsingit ng kung ano ang kanilang gusto. Hindi po kami kasali doon," Alvarez told DZMM Teleradyo on Wednesday.
(They inserted and removed items in the NEP. We weren't involved there.)
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya earlier said the districts of Alvarez and two other allies got the biggest allocations for infrastructure projects in the proposed 2019 budget.
He alleged that former Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles and former Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas got P4 billion and P3.5 billion, respectively.
"Magmula noong SONA, hindi na ako pumasok sa Kongreso. I never attended a single budget hearing. Umuwi na po ako sa probinsya at nandito na lang po ako sa distrito ko," Alvarez explained.
(Since the SONA, I never went back to Congress. I never attended a single budget hearing. I went home to my province. I'm staying here in my district.)
Alvarez was ousted as Speaker of the House of Representatives right after the State of the Nation Address last July 23.
Andaya was earlier directed by the Palace to explain alleged insertions in the General Appropriations Bill for 2019, which include the districts of Andaya and Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
He stressed that Arroyo's district in Pampanga only ranked 60th at the House of Representatives in terms of appropriation for DPWH budget. He said his district in Camarines Sur only ranked 110th.