Andaya was just doing ministerial job – Atty Noe Botor

NAGA CITY – “He was just doing a ministerial job when he signed and released the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO).”
Rolando Andaya Jr.
This was the statement made by lawyer Noe Botor, who represents 1st District Congressman Rolando Andaya, Jr., in an interview by Edwin Lara of Radio Station DWLV.

Andaya’s name was dragged into the controversy when he signed and released the SAROs covering projects that were allegedly implemented by bogus NGOs owned by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

Atty. Botor made the pitch for Andaya to clarify muddled issues regarding the allegations that he received P225 million from suspected pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles.

In the national dailies, Andaya was pinpointed to have signed 33 of the 43 SAROs released by the DBM to Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada.

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The said SARO releases are now the subject of plunder cases pending with the Sandiganbayan, which involve Senators Revilla, Estrada and Enrile.

The abovementioned SAROs were issued between 2007 to 2009.

“It was Andaya’s job to sign and release the SAROs. That is part of his job as DBM secretary. What’s irregular about that?” Botor said.

Andaya’s name was mentioned in some media reports that made it appear that he was in cahoots with Napoles.

In defense of Andaya, Botor explained that the release of the questioned documents strictly adhered to the process observed by the DBM. He explained that he was responding to the news item that seemed give malice with regard to the regular performance of his job as head of the budget agency.

Relative to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which is found in the General Appropriations Act (GAA), the request to issue SAROs did not emanate from the Office of the President.

The Office of the Speaker of the House or the Senate President are the ones who made the requests, Botor added.

Andaya’s lawyer also emphasized that the Procurement Act which strictly prohibits NGOs to implement projects was primarily authored by Andaya. He is, therefore, very aware that, unless authorized by law, no government money should be implemented by an NGO.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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