On the Claims of Reps. Andaya and Bravo on the 2019 Budget

On Rep. Andaya’s Claims of Senate Realignments in the Budget:

There is nothing new in what Rep. Andaya said. The P75 billion he is referring to was taken up during the interpellation in the Senate. That was the amount inserted by then DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno in the DPWH budget, and which was slashed after the DPWH said it was not aware of it.

The P23 billion – not P25 billion as Rep. Andaya claimed – refers to the individual amendments of some senators, which I exposed.

I am not aware of any single senator who has made changes to the budget, after it was approved in the bicameral conference level. If Rep. Andaya can provide more details, such as the text message from a certain Ms. Salamanca, I will join him in denouncing such practice because it is not only in violation of the legislative process, but in violation of the Constitution itself.

On Rep. Bravo’s Claims of ‘Vendetta’

Rep. Bravo’s opinion reflects his true character.

I am a forgiving person. I have forgiven those who have wronged me.

This is not about Speaker Arroyo. This is not about any congressman or senator. This is about my personal crusade against the pork barrel system. This is about the national budget, which is the lifeblood of our country.

On Andaya’s claims the Senate realigned P75B:

“Walang bago kasi sinasabi niyang P75B, yan ang na-take up noong interpellation pa lang sa plenaryo sa Senado. Yan ang in-introduce na insertion ni Sec Diokno na tinanong namin mismo DPWH kung alam nila nang sinabi nila di alam at ok sa kanila tanggalin, slashed yan. Walang bago roon. Nilabas na rin namin yan. Ang 25B na sinasabi niya na realignment sa mga senador, hindi 25B, thatโ€™s 23B. Ako mismo naglabas noon at dinetalye ko saan napunta. May flood control, road construction. So walang bago roon. Ang sinasabi niyang post-enactment or after-bicam report, mali rin yan. Na-submit lahat yan bago pa man naiapruba ang Senate version ng GAB.”

“Last week I even confronted Sen Legarda kung may basehan ang sinasabi ni Rep Andaya. Sabi niya, assure niya kami ni SP na walang nangyaring pagbabago from the bicam report. Ganoon din sinabi ng LBRMO na wala silang natanggap na submission ng senador pagkatapos ng bicam conference. So ang sinasabi ni Rep Andaya, wala. Kung meron man at may maipakita siyang pruweba, maski text message na natanggap ng mga senador, ako mismo Iโ€™ll join him in denouncing such practice because it is not only in violation of the legislative process but the Constitution itself.”

On ‘dagdag-bawas’ for Speaker Arroyo’s allies:

“Yan ang nakita natin. May kongresistang naghain ng parang humingi ng saklolo sa akin for the last 3 weeks. Sa HPEF sa DOH, di pa pinagusapan sa DPWH, binigyan ng P25M sa health facilities enhancement program ng DOH. At ang iba tig-8M lang. Nagreklamo ang nabigyan ng 8M, at may nakapaloob kasi may menu list at ang list nanggaling sa office ni SGMA. Ito dinikta sa kanila pati menu list kasama ang P2.5M worth of ambulance. Nagtanong ako sa ibang kongresista ang ambulansya napakamahal sa P2.5M. So bakit naka-indicate doon mismo ang amount ng ambulance na ipu-purchase ng mga kongresista? Nakita ko text message na pinadala sa congressmen na binibigyan ng 25M, nakita ko rin text message galing sa parehong tao kay Ms Salamanca, na tig-8M pero may P2.5M pa rin kasamang ambulansya. If weโ€™re talking here of 295 congressmen at ganoon kamahal ang ambulance, kung overpriced P1M kada ambulansya, weโ€™re talking here of P296M in overpriced purchase ng ambulance. Kung 25M ang listahan doon sa menu list na provided, bakit ito ginalaw ng HOR samantalang sa BCC report, ang nakasaad doon ang submit ng DOH at ginawang amendment ng Senado?”

“Ang 25M ang bumoto sa kanya. Ang 8M ito ang di bumoto sa kanya or nag-abstain. Kita mo kung sino ang napaboran. Between 8M and 25M, 17M. Bakit may discrepancy? Kaya ito lumabas, kasi ang kongresistang nabigyan ng 8M, ito ang mga nagreklamo. Pero di sila makakibo for obvious reasons. They sought me out, ako pinakiusapan nila, ang sabi ko sa kanila hindi pwedeng kwentuhan lang tayo. Bigyan nyo ako maski anong pruweba na ito talagang nangyari. So they sent me the exact text of the SMS na pinadala sa phone ng 25 at 8M na nakatanggap.”

On possibility of filing cases:

“Wala pa naman. Kasi di pa enrolled bill at wala pang pinipirma ang Pangulo na GAA. But kung halimbawa ang SP, thatโ€™s why we advised him during our mini-caucus last Saturday, huwag siya pipirma kung nag-depart from the bicam report ang enrolled bill na pagpipirmahan sa kanya. Otherwise heโ€™ll be liable for a violation of the RPC, falsification of the records of the legislative process.”

On Andaya’s claim the Senate itemized after ratification:

“Hindi ako aware doon. But ang tinanong ko si Sen Legarda kasi siya ang kaharap ni Rep Andaya. And she assured me walang ganoong submission ang mga senador after the bicam. Para lang malinaw, hingan natin si Rep Andaya ng sapat na pruweba. Even a certain degree of proof na talagang may mga senador na nag-submit pa o nag-itemize pa after the ratification of the bicam report, sabi ko Iโ€™ll join him in denouncing the practice because itโ€™s not only in violation of our legislative process kundi violation mismo ng Saligang Batas.”

“Hindi ako privy sa pinagusapan nila. Ang pinanghawakan ko lang nang tinanong ko si Sen Loren last week, she assured me walang senador na nakapag-submit ng amendments after the bicam. Ang pagkaalam ko nag-submit ng individual amendments at institutional amendments ang mga senador before the approval on 2nd reading sa Senate.”

On Bravo’s claim you held the budget hostage due to vendetta vs SGMA:

“That only reflects the true attitude and real character of Cong Bravo. Kasi kung ganoon ang line of thinking niya ganoon siya. Ako Iโ€™m a very forgiving person. I have forgiven all those who had wronged me in the past. Previous life ko na yan, wala na sa akin yan. This is not about SGMA, this is not about any congressman or any senator. This is about my advocacy, my crusade against the pork barrel system. This is about the national budget na siya dapat tumutustos sa bawaโ€™t Pilipino sa kabuhayan natin. This is not about any person much less about SGMA. Kaya kung ganyan ang takbo ng kanyang pagiisip ganoon siguro siya.”

On Sen. Drilon’s suggestion to revert to BCC:

“I donโ€™t know how it can be possible ibabalik sa bicam dahil tapos na ang bicam, ratified na. Sa akin ang if I may suggest, pirmahin ang enrolled bill as a ratified BCC report. And then ipaubaya sa Malacanang na i-line item veto ng Presidente ang inaakala nilang unconstitutional like lump sum kasi kung di pa itemized, lump sum yan. So pwedeng line item veto ng Presidente yan itemize nila bahala sila. Pero balik kami sa bicam, Iโ€™m not sure if that is at all legally possible.”

On oversimplification by some congressmen:

“Yan ang oversimplification ng SC ruling. Remember at least 3 aspects yan. Lump sum, ang isa post-enactment, at ang pangatlo na pinakamabigat na ayaw nila isama sa usapan, grave abuse of discretion. When you alter, when you change or amend what has already been ratified, di ba grave abuse of discretion yan? Kasi kayo na lang naguusap-usap, hindi na nakasama sa dating pinagusapan, labas sa pinagusapan, babaguhin mo pa? Thatโ€™s grave abuse of discretion. Kasama yan sa ruling ng SC.”

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