Lacson: Senator using govt funds for groceries, maid’s salary

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday claimed that he has information to prove that a senator has been using Senate funds for personal use.

In a text message to reporters, Lacson said he has information that may “assist” the Commission on Audit (COA) in its audit or investigation regarding the following:
  • use of Senate funds to pay rental fees and repairs of his or her satellite office inside his or her own building
  • including in his/her office payroll his or her own housemaids
  • disbursement of MOOE as grocery allowance of his/her husband or son
“The desired end state of my proposal is to file graft charges against the senator/s concerned if the evidence warrants. Incidentally, these documents are all in the records of the Senate,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate committee on accounts.
Lacson refused to name the senator he was talking about.Only last Wednesday, Lacson engaged in a word war of sorts with Senator Mirian Defensor-Santiago, calling the latter a hypocrite and a “crusading crook.”

“Sen. Miriam Santiago is what we may call a crusading crook. She pretends to be clean when she is not,” he said.

Santiago earned the ire of Lacson after she accused him of being one of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s attack dogs. Santiago has been criticizing Enrile for giving additional funds to selected senators.
It was Santiago who earlier called on the COA to audit the use of Senate savings.
Enrile has said he is ready for the audit.
But in an interview on Thursday, he said he doesn’t know whom Lacson was talking about.
“Ewan ko…wala akong mga satellite office… wala akong pinarerentahan na building, wala akong perang ginagamit sa aking mga tauhan. Di ko ginagamit yung mga empoelyado ng senador, yung organic sa Senado, di ko alam kung sino tinutukoy ni Lacson,” he said.
“Si Lacson siguro ang nakalaalam dahil siya ang chairman ng accounts,” he added.
Santiago, meanwhile, has said that she will not grant any media interviews while she is recovering from a mild stroke— RSJ, GMA News

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