Arroyo’s camp answers Aquino’s allegations during his SONA

Elena Bautista-Horn, spokesperson of Pampanga Second District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, denied President Noynoy Aquino’s allegations of budget misuse in his State of the Nation Address on July 26, reports ABS-CBNNews.com.

"Wala na ang pera sa Department of Budget and Management. January pa lang ang release ng suweldo ng mga kawani ng gobyerno," Horn, Former Pres. Arroyo’s chief of the Presidential Management Staff, said.

Horn told GMANews.TV that P105 million did go to an unspecified district in Pampanga, as Aquino said in his speech. However, she said, "Not a single centavo was disbursed. Intact pa po ’yong pera dahil sinusunod natin ’yong bidding process. ’Di natin masasabi na ginamit ito sa eleksyon."

As for the alleged millions of incentives of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Board of Trustees, Horn said they had assigned an agency to investigate the matter and some of the members had been removed from the board.

Horn said the National Power Corp. (Napocor) sold power at a loss, which led to its bankruptcy according to Aquino, to make electricity affordable to Filipinos, reports ABS-CBNNews.com. Reacting to Aquino’s allegation of the National Food Authority’s excessive rice purchases, Horn said all purchases went through due process. Former secretary of Agriculture and current Bohol Rep. Arthur Yap told GMANews.tv, "Palagay ko dapat balikan natin ang mga pigura at ang mga ahensyang nagrekomenda ng volume na ’yon."

Horn told ABS-CBNNews.com it is unfair for Aquino’s Truth Commission to look into alleged anomalies that occurred during the Arroyo administration. She said the past administrations should also be investigated. In reaction to Aquino’s pre-SONA warning about shocking details regarding the budget depletion, Horn said, "’Di naman po ako masyadong na-shock kasi explainable."

Arroyo’s son Diosdado "Dato," representative of the second district of Camarines Sur, told GMANews.TV, "Marami ngang nag-te-text sa akin na ’yong mga figures na binigay po ng team ni Pangulong Aquino ay medyo mali-mali po." Arroyo’s brother-in-law Ignacio "Iggy," representative of the fifth district of Negros Occidental, told GMANews.tv, "The speech sounded more like a campaign speech." He said Aquino should have talked about the distribution of Hacienda Luisita, according to ABS-CBNNews.com.

Ang Galing Pinoy Party-list Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo, son of the former president, told GMANews.TV, "They [Aquino’s camp] should just be responsible about their statements."

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Rep. Gloria Arroyo is currently in Hong Kong for her husband’s medical check-up for his aortic aneurysm.

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