Roque to PACC: File cases vs lawmakers if 'pork' still exists

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 4) — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque hit the ani-corruption body chief over a statement that the pork barrel system still exists.

In a media briefing Thursday, Roque said Philippine Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chief Greco Belgica should file cases against lawmakers if he believes the pork barrel still exists.

"All I know is that there's a decision against the pork barrel system and that if he says it persists, I hope he will file charges against individuals," he said.

PACC has slammed Congress for alleged strategic pork barrel insertions in the proposed 2019 budget. Pork barrel refers to projects a lawmaker can identify for implementing agencies to carry out. The Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 2013.

In a separate event Thursday, Belgica said, "Mas matindi ngayon e dahil noon may item called PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund), ngayon ipinapasok na roon sa mga agencies tapos usapan na lang sila, wala nang paper trail."

[Translation: It's more intense now, because back then we had the PDAF, now they put it directly into the agencies and just discuss among themselves, there would be no paper trail.]

PACC names most corrupt gov't agencies

Meanwhile, the PACC named government agencies with the most corruption complaints.

These included Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Department of Agriculture.

The PACC said it has filed cases against 25 officials and other people in government.

It added corruption in various agencies was systemic and happened in different ways.

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong and Triciah Terada contributed to this report.