Palace assails critic over claim 2015 budget might be used next poll

MANILA, Philippines – The Malacanang Palace has hit back at government critic Leonor Briones after the former National Treasurer warned the 2015 budget, with several lump sum items attached, might be used in the 2016 election.

Briones, also the lead convenor of Social Watch Philippines, said the huge lump sums in the budget lacks in details and mechanism for accountability, making these items vulnerable to abuse.

She named in particular the P501 billion lump sum items, with P378.604 billion of which goes to the President’s Special Purpose Fund, and P123.506 billion goes to unprogrammed expenditures.

But Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte described Briones’ claim as absurd and assailed the University of the Philippines professor for “cultivating fear”.

Valte said, now they have to counter Briones’ statement, which ‘meant to cultivate fears in others’, by challenging anyone to go back to the information and discern for themselves. She added this administration has always been transparent from the beginning by “making public all information so the public would know where government funds are being spent.” (Click here to read more)

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