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Sikretong malupit! Cellphones of Andaya’s staff confiscated in midst of realigning ‘pork’

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The post-ratification realignment of the proposed 2019 national budget was such a secret endeavor that leaders of the House of Representatives went to great lengths to ensure it would be kept under wraps until they’re done.

Politiko learned that cellphones of the House appropriations committee’s staff were confiscated while they realigned allocations in the budget bill for flood control projects.

A source told Politiko that staff members of the committee led by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. were incommunicado for the entire time they were working their magic on the budge t bill.

The staff had a daunting task as they slashed the allocations of around 82 districts and redistributed the funds to bailiwicks of Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s allies.

Senator Panfilo Lacson has accused the House of illegally realigning P95.1 billion in the budget bill to select districts.

Andaya has denied they were manipulating the budget illegally, saying they are merely “itemizing” lump sums in the proposed General Appropriations Act.

President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to sign the proposed 2019 national budget into law.

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