MANILA, May 6 (Mabuhay) − Former Senator Edgardo Angara on Tuesday denied that he benefited from the P300-million Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (Acef) he allocated to his bailiwick, Aurora province.
In a statement, Angara sought to justify two projects in Aurora that received millions in government subsidies: the P200-million Baler-Casiguran road project, and the P100 million allocated to the Aurora Mariculture Park (AMP) and a Coconut-Based Products Complex.
“These projects, we have to highlight this point, are public goods, exclusively programmed to serve the broad public interest. They have helped lift Aurora from its “ poorest of the poor” status to an economically emerging province,” Angara said in his media release.
The former senator made this statement following a report on The Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday which detailed how Angara supposedly gained from the Acef by pouring projects to his home province.
Angara said P200-million Baler-Casiguran road project has cut travel time between northern Aurora towns, and opened access to markets in the province.
“The worthiness of the project and its immense economic and social impact on communities and people is beyond question,” he said.
The 120-kilometer project also underwent open bidding through the Department of Public Works and Highways office in Central Luzon, he added.
The government-funded Aurora Mariculture Park and a Coconut-Based Products Complex, meanwhile, “created a number of employment opportunities” in the province, Angara said.
“As coconut is abundant in Aurora, coco coir and other coco product fast became commodities from which many Aurorans could earn,” he said.
Last March, Angara was also tagged in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam allegedly engineered by controversial businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. The former senator has denied this allegation. (MNS)