LIBMANAN, Camarines Sur: Scholars of Representative Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo sent registered letters to President Benigno Aquino III through the post office here recently, asking for the release of scholarship funds from Arroyo’s share of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The PDAF is a pork barrel that channels funds to congressional districts.
Roy Nedia, chief of the administrative staff of the second district office here, said some 2,000 scholars of Arroyo were affected by the holding of the congressman’s pork barrel in the last two semesters.
Nedia said that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad had told the district office that it was President Aquino who had ordered the holding of Arroyo’s pork, which includes scholarship funds for schoolchildren.
He quoted Abad as saying that without the President’s approval, the budget department could not release the fund.
Nedia said the scholarship funds consisted of P10 million for college students and P8 million for vocational trainees.
Sought for comment, Abad denied that the President had ordered Arroyo’s pork withheld.
“There is no order,” Abad said in a text message to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“Representative Dato Arroyo was one of the biggest recipients of pork, in the hundreds of millions, way beyond the P70 million that on the average was received by the representatives.”