MANILA - Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said only changes to the national budget that are constitutional should be allowed for lawmakers.
Marcos, who used to serve as the representative of the 2nd district of Ilocos Norte, said she is no longer familiar with the rules on pork barrel projects since she has been involved in local government work.
"Hindi ko po maintindihan ngayon ang patakaran sa pork na sinasabi tulad ng sinasabi ng ating magigiting na mga senador. Ako, Galing lokal lang ako eh, medyo ignorante tayo diyan," she said on "Ikaw Na Ba? The DZMM Senatorial Candidates' Interview" on Thursday.
(I am not familiar with the rules on 'pork' like what our senators say. I am from the local government so I am ignorant on that topic.)
She, however, said she is in favor of "insertions" in the budget as long as these will go directly to projects which will benefit constituents of members of Congress.
"Alam ko nag-aamyenda sila at pwede kang maglagay noong tinatawag na 'insertions' para madagdagan 'yung mga pet projects mo at pagtibayin 'yung mga batas mo with the ample budget. So kailangan talagang gawin 'yun," Marcos said.
(All I know is that lawmakers can make amendments and put so-called "insertions" for additional funds for pet projects and to strengthen laws with the ample budget. That should be done.)
But if it is for personal use, Marcos said there should be no "pork."
"Pero kung 'pork,' ang ibig sabihin ng pork, fatty stuff parang bagnet sa Ilocos, eh, ewan ko, siguro dapat walang pork, period," she said.
(But if it's "pork," the fatty stuff like Ilocos' bagnet, I don't know, maybe there should really be no pork, period.)
Meanwhile, Senator Bam Aquino said there are cases where amendments are needed to fund special projects, but blatant corruption in pork barrel projects like what happened in the past should never be allowed.
"Naging malawak na rin kasi ang ibig sabihin ng pork pero linawin natin, mayroong nakawan, at mayroong mga may komisyon, may nakawan, (Janet Lim) Napoles, 'yan ho, klarong-klaro na mali ho 'yan, may contractor na pinipili at binibigyan ng favoritism, 'yun ho, mali ho 'yun, dapat mawala na," he said.
(The meaning of 'pork' is very broad but we have to be clear, there are those who steal, there are those who received commissions, what Janet Napoles did, that was clearly wrong because there was favoritism, there were contractors who received favors, that should be eradicated.)
"Pero may mga tamang amendment (but there is a right kind of amendment)," Aquino added.
Senator JV Ejercito agreed with Aquino, saying a lawmaker's job should end with providing the needed funds.
"Kaya sinisigurado namin na wala talaga kaming ilalagay na sa amin, na kami ang magbebenepisyo," he said.
(We make sure we don't put anything that will be directly beneficial us.)
"'Pag may inilagay kami, wala kaming pakialam sa contractor, wala kaming pakialam, basta constitutional amendments sa amin, bahala na po sila," Ejercito added.
(If we add anything to the budget, we don't care about the contractor. We just make sure the amendments are constitutional, the rest is up to them.)
The Senate and the House of Representatives are currently working on the 2019 national budget, after alleged insertions were discovered.