Family first! Sorsogon politikos linked by marriage to Diokno get P2.8B in infra projects
House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez has accused Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno of using his influence to grant P2.8 billion worth of infrastructure projects to Sorsogon as a way of helping his daughter’s parents-in-law.
During the so-called “Question Hour” at the plenary Tuesday, Suarez said Diokno had a hand in the approval of flood control and road projects in Casiguran town and Sorsogon because his daughter is married to the son of Sorsogon Vice Governor Esther Hamor and Casiguran Mayor Edwin Hamor.
The House leader said the projects were Diokno’s way of helping the Hamors, who are both running in the 2019 elections.
“There is a specific reason and I won’t even blame you for that. It’s emotional and family reasons, that your in-law’s partner is running for a position and they may need help. That’s precisely what you did,” Suarez said.
Diokno, however, denied the lawmaker’s allegation. He said he does not let family ties influence the allocation of budget for infrastructure projects. He added that the identification of projects is not the job of the Department of Budget and Management, but the Department of Public Works and Highways.
What happens to the line departments, that’s not my concern, your honor. As we release documents, we say the use of these funds shall be in accordance to budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations. The whole government will come to screech, to a halt, if I have to look at every project that’s being done all over the country,” he said.
Diokno also denied knowledge of C.T. Leoncio Trading, the firm which reportedly bagged billions of pesos worth of infrastructure contracts in Sorsogon and several other provinces nationwide