Pia Cayetano donates P250K cash gift to DSWD
SENATOR Pia Cayetano finally broke her silence on the controversial P1.6 million additional Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) distributed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to 18 senators excluding her and three other colleagues.
In her manifestation, Cayetano admitted that before Christmas, she received a P250,000 check from the office of Enrile, which as she said she could not assume that it was MOOE because “that is usually given by way of a check from the Senate of the Philippines and not the office of the Senate President.”
“Since I did not know what it was for, I did not deposit it,” she said.
“Come January, I was out of town when my staff learned that the year-end MOOE, which was the subject of a December 5, 2012 and December 10, 2012 memoranda issued by the office of the Senate President authorizing the release of additional MOOE to all senators, was in fact released to all the senators, except for four of us,” she said.
“The MOOE issue came to her as a complete surprise to hear that she was excluded which she doesn’t know what is the reason why.
“In fact to this day, I do not know the reason why. I can only surmise that because I did not back down on the RH law and I pushed for a stronger sin tax law, I have displeased his Honor, the Senate President, who has been very vocal against these bills,” she said.
Cayetano added that out of courtesy and respect to Enrile, she did not comment when her Christmas gift to him was returned. The same goes with this issue on the MOOE, she said.
“I humbly ask, why was I excluded? I do not know the reason why. Am I being penalized for speaking my mind and for pushing for legislation that is contrary to the views of the Senate leadership?” She asked.
“I cannot apologize for the stand I have taken on the RH and sin tax laws. And if this is the price I have pay to fight for the things I believe in, then I will accept the imputations that come with my job,” she further explained.
With this, Cayetano said the P250,000 check issued by Enrile, will be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for homeless, abused and abandoned children programs.