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Palace downplays Dec 6 ‘deadline’ to get rid of ‘pork’

A Catholic nun is joined by students of St. Scholastica's College as they hold signs and chant slogans to demand the abolition of a misused fund for legislators' pet projects, outside their campus in Manila August 28, 2013. On Monday, tens of thousands Filipinos marched through the centre of Manila and other cities to express indignation at the misuse of "pork barrel" funds under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). (MNS photo)

A Catholic nun is joined by students of St. Scholastica’s College as they hold signs and chant slogans to demand the abolition of a misused fund for legislators’ pet projects, outside their campus in Manila August 28, 2013. On Monday, tens of thousands Filipinos marched through the centre of Manila and other cities to express indignation at the misuse of “pork barrel” funds under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday downplayed a so-called Dec. 6 deadline for President Benigno Aquino to get rid of discretionary or “pork” funds, saying he and his administration will push the proper things at the “correct time.”

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also said the Palace will continue answering questions on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program, which Palace critics had dubbed as another form of pork barrel funds.

“The president and the administration will push for the correct things at the correct time,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

She was referring to the Dec. 6 deadline by the #ScrapPork Network for Aquino to “destroy the barrier” that blocks his supposed “straight path.”

The Dec. 6 date comes 100 days after a massive anti-pork gathering at the Luneta in Manila last Aug. 26. Organizers hinted at gatherings by anti-pork advocates on that day.

Valte said the Department of Justice already filed plunder cases against personalities linked to the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam involving the use of fake non-government organizations to siphon funds from lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations.

She said the DOJ is set to file charges against another batch of personalities linked to the mess.

“The instructions of the president would be to make sure (the cases) will stand scrutiny and (lead to) a conviction,” she added.

Meanwhile, Valte said the government will continue “answering” questions on the controversial DAP, which some had branded as another form of pork barrel as it gives lawmakers leeway to identify what projects to fund.

“Confident tayo mararating natin ang mas maraming kababayan, at alam nila ang pagkakaiba na for propaganda lang at tunay na nagbibigay ng information,” she said.  (MNS)

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