Lacson: Document shows congressman asked help for P258-M building funds

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2019 11:26 PM

MANILA - Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson showed Thursday evidence that Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, who has been disputing him over the proposed 2020 national budget, asked the senator for financial help to construct a municipal building in a Capiz town.

Castro earlier denied this, saying it was "fictional."

Lacson, in response, released a letter dated Sept. 19, 2019, in which the House member's signature can be seen.

In the document, Lacson was asked for assistance with the construction of a municipal building in Dumalag town which costs P258 million.

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However, Castro said the document was just a letter of request and that he was not lobbying for the construction funds.

"The letter request is the same as the other letter requests I submitted to the offices of other senators on the same day requesting for assistance in behalf of my constituents and, my resolve to address their concern," Castro said in a statement.

"I am disappointed that the good Senator does not know to distinguish pork barrel from a letter request or better still a letter request from lobbying," he said.

Lacson and some House members, including Castro, have been locking horns after the senator alleged that the P4.1 trillion national budget proposed by the chamber had insertions of pork barrel, which House members have refuted and slammed Lacson for.

"The good Senate President Tito Sotto could not be clearer in his ANC statement of 25 Sept that project given or requested by Congressmen are not pork barrel," Castro said.

The Senate was allocated a total budget of P7.4 billion in the spending plan, while the House sought P14.02 billion. The total budget for Congress is P22.8 billion.

- With reports from Sherrie Ann Torres and RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News