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Villafuerte denies pork insertion in 2020 budget: Completely baseless and fictional

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House Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte has belied the allegation made by Sen. Panfilo Lacson that he was behind the move to give all 22 Deputy Speakers P1.5 billion each under the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020.

In a text message sent to Politiko, Villafuerte described Lacson’s accusation against him as “completely baseless and fictional.”

“I however would like to emphasize and firmly deny the claim that it was my idea to add php P1.5 billion to each Deputy Speaker,” said Villafuerte.

The Camarines Sur solon said the approved General Appropriations Bill (GAB) under House Bill No. 4228 remains faithful to the 2020 National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted by Malacañang to Congress last month despite the budget withdrawal initiated by no less Villafuerte last August 28—according to Lacson was upon the alleged order of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

Lacson said Villafuerte allegedly tried to insert the supposed pork barrel fund after the withdrew the the filed GAB’s referral

Villafuerte said he considered Lacson as a “friend” and he has “high regard high regard, respect and support his personal advocacy in fighting pork barrel and illegal insertions in the budget.”

But Villafuerte stressed that it was “totally unfair” for Lacson to single him out “with such a baseless claim.”

“I fully supported his crusade against pork in the past and continue to support him now and in the future,” said Villafuerte.

Villafuerte, who was appointed Deputy Speaker for Finance in July also denied the alleged P700 million allocation per congressman under the approved GAB

“We never thought off, discussed, planned and even attempted to add a single peso to a district or for a congressman,” said Villfuerte.

He stressed that Lacson’s allegations was only “a product of imagination and far from reality.”

“The claim and math completely out of this world,” he added.

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