Villar: Pork went to legit projects

Former Sen. Manuel Villar and Sen. Cynthia Villar

Sen. Cynthia Villar on Saturday denied misspending millions of pesos of her pork barrel when she was the representative from Las Piñas City, saying her projects not only provided livelihood for her constituents but saved hundreds of millions in solid waste disposal costs.

Villar was referring to the waste recycling and livelihood projects she initiated in Las Piñas, where perishables were turned into fertilizer and materials like plastic were used to make school chairs.

"With this as a guidepost, I likewise made sure that the identification of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) projects were done strictly in accordance with the menu and guidelines dictated by the Department of Budget and Management," she said.

Villar said the waste-processing system funded by her PDAF or pork barrel resulted in at least P300 million in annual savings for the city for a number of years now.

"On top of that, it created livelihood opportunities for hundreds of marginalised constituents," she said.

Villar said her PDAF also went to projects that cleared Las Pinas' waterways of garbage and water hyacinths.

"Several projects funded by my PDAF were dedicated to the rehabilitation of our rivers and waterways, preventing massive flooding that saved lives and properties," Villar said.

She said the Las Piñas-Zapote River Rehabilitation Program won the Best Water Management Practice Award at the United Nations Water Life Event in Zaragoza, Spain, in 2011.

Villar said she had answered on Aug. 28, 2012, the issues raised by the Commission on Audit (COA) on her alleged misuse of her PDAF.

She said the Las Piñas government had yet to receive from the COA a notice of suspension of the funds in question.