Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman has denied receiving a P1 million cash gift during the House of Representatives’ Christmas party on Wednesday, and claimed he only won a fraction of the amount.
He won P250,000, the congressman told media on Thursday.
Lagman made his clarification amid allegations that Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo gave P1 million as a cash gift, with the appeal that whoever won the prize should stop criticizing and instead support the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
He added that the P250,000 prize he won was part of a P500,000 donation by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
"I did not want to make any statement with respect to [rumors regarding Floirendo's alleged cash prize]. I did not want to destroy the fellowship [of the members of Congress]," Lagman said.
Lagman is a member of the "Magnificent 7", supposedly the "real minority" in the House. A member of the Liberal Party, he said earlier in the month that they were mulling leaving the Congress supermajority following Vice President Leni Robredo’s resignation from the Cabinet.
Floirendo, an agricultural magnate, was Duterte's top campaign donor, and is one of his staunchest allies in the House. According to an investigative report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, he gave P75 million to support the firebrand leader’s bid for the presidency.