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House committees seek filing of plunder charges vs Budget chief Diokno

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno (Photo Credits: dbm.gov.ph)

Two committees in the House of Representatives want criminal charges filed against Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Benjamin Diokno.

House Minority leader Danilo Suarez confirmed on Monday, Feb. 11, that the House Committee on Public Accounts, which he chairs, and the House Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., are finalizing the documents for the filing of plunder charges against Diokno.

According to Suarez, Diokno, as the DBM secretary, should be held criminally liable for favoring his in-laws, who bagged the contracts for large government projects.

The congressman added that Diokno can also be held criminally liable if checks and documents from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) proves that Charlotte Diokno, the daughter of the budget secretary, received money from CT Leoncio Trading and Construction, which won Php 2.1 billion worth of projects in Sorsogon and Catanduanes on 2018, thru Aremar Construction.

Charlotte’s association with Aremar Construction stemmed after she married Romeo Sicat Jr., whose stepfather is Casiguran, Sorsogon Mayor Edwin Hamor, the biggest shareholder of the construction firm, based on records of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Kung napatunayan talaga na tumanggap ng Php 81 million yung kanyang daughter, may criminal liability rin iyon. Ang nag-bayad yung mga contractors tapos naging sub contractor ng CT Leoncio, meron din liability iyon,” Suarez said during DZRH’s Isyu.

It’s up to the court or the Ombudsman to decipher and analyze whole issue. It’s up to them whether charges can be filed,” Suarez added.

Apart from the aforementioned reasons, Suarez said that the charges will also stem from Diokno’s admittance that he inserted an additional Php 75 billion to the 2019 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

For me, it’s really unbecoming na in your own initiative nilakihan mo. Who are you? Trabaho ng public works iyan and it’s up to them. Kung bibigyan mo ng additional dapat doon sa priority area,” Suarez said.

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