Palace stands by Diokno’s integrity and competence

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Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno. File Photo

DAVAO CITY (December 18) — Malacañang on Tuesday,reaffirmed its trust and confidence on Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno amid calls for his ouster due to alleged pork insertions in the 2019 national budget.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a press briefing that Secretary Diokno’s integrity and competence remain intact.

“We stand by the integrity and competence of Secretary Diokno. All of us are in support of him. The President trusts him,” Secretary Panelo said, noting that Sec. Diokno’s track record is far better than those who cast aspersion on him.

For Panelo, the Budget chief’s more than 30 years of unparalleled service can stand any baseless allegations thrown against him.

“The reputation of Secretary Diokno is solid. [T]here is nothing that we can throw at him. He is known to be one who says no to any irregularity or any favor that is asked of him,” Panelo explained.

The Palace official likewise clarified and reiterated that the 2019 alignment of budget came directly from different line agencies, making it clear that Diokno has nothing to do with it.

He added that this budget is still subject for review of the House of Representatives whether it be approved or amended. Congress also has the discretion whether to re-align the funds or not.

The President’s chief legal counsel added that Congress, as an honorable institution, should not merely delve on baseless accusations but to facts.

“You cannot be destroying reputations of people on the basis of hearsay. If you feel there is an offense, then please file it against the alleged wrongdoer,” Sec. Panelo said.-PND

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