In an interview at the sidelines of the groundbreaking of the new Senate building, Sen. Lacson discloses the House has agreed to recall its version of the 2019 budget with post-ratification tweaks. Other topics in the interview included:
* Rep Andaya accusation that Senate removed P17B from the DPWH RROW budget
* timeline for the New Senate building
Nililito ng liderato ng Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso ang publiko gamit ang paiba-ibang palusot ng mga kaalyado nito upang maitago ang ginawang pagkalikot sa P3.757-trilyon 2019 budget kahit matapos na ito ratipikahan, pero lalo lamang silang nabubuking.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, kahit pa gumamit ng sangkaterbang “talking heads,” hindi maitatago ng liderato ng Kamara ang ginawang pagkalikot sa mga pondong nakapaloob sa pambansang badyet.
Binanggit pa ni Lacson na hindi uubra ang palusot na isa lamang umanong “itemization” ang ginawa ng mga kaalyado ni Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa budget dahil maliwanag na maliwanag na realignment ng pondo ang ginawa ng mga kaalyado ni Arroyo.
“National budget: Don’t be fooled by congressmen tasked to make us believe they merely ‘itemized’ when in fact, they arbitrarily realigned to favored districts several appropriations already approved by both houses of Congress thereby sacrificing already vetted infra projects,” pagsisiwala ni Lacson sa pamamagitan ng kanyang Twitter account.
It’s bad enough that the House of Representatives leadership realigned a whopping P95.1 billion in the P3.757-trillion proposed budget for 2019 to favored districts. It’s much more revolting that they tried to hide it by invoking “transparency.”
On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson scored the House’s “talking heads” for insisting that the maneuvering in the budget – after it had already been ratified by both houses of Congress – was for “itemization.”
“National budget: Don’t be fooled by congressmen tasked to make us believe they merely ‘itemized’ when in fact, they arbitrarily realigned to favored districts several appropriations already approved by both houses of Congress thereby sacrificing already vetted infra projects,” Lacson said in a post on his Twitter account.
“Trying to hide their unconstitutional post-ratification budget realignments by claiming they wanted to itemize lump sums in the name of transparency: If that’s not irony – or hypocrisy, I don’t know what is,” he added.
They are confusing the public. There is a whale of a difference between itemization and realignments of what have been approved by the joint bicameral conference committee and ratified in plenary by both houses of Congress.
Instead of engaging in obfuscation and personal attacks on us by their designated talking heads, the House leaders should pursue a sensible dialogue with the Senate leadership.
Otherwise, we will have no choice but deal with the next House leadership come July.
To The Manila Times: Please allow us to set the record straight and disabuse the minds of your readers regarding the column of Mr. Rolly G. Reyes last March 7 where he made personal attacks against Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson – including his claim that the senator’s disclosures on pork barrel are due to a supposed fixation on Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Not true. Instead, my suggestion didn’t sit well with the congressmen.
Executive Secretary Medialdea and Finance Secretary Dominguez in fact favorably endorsed my suggestion to President Rodrigo Duterte as a practical and logical approach to break the impasse, especially when I informed the President about the House of Representatives substantially slashing the P72.319-billion DPWH appropriations for the agency’s MFO1 and MFO2 (Major Final Output), which will have negative implications on the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program.
What was obvious last night is that the suggestion didn’t sit well with the congressmen because they cannot be sure if all their realignments will be adopted. It’s all about their pork, not mindful if they will be derailing the flagship projects of the government.
Mismong ang Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang naglabas ng mensahe na hindi niya lalagdaan kung may nilalaman na ilegal ang 2019 national budget, kaya dapat na maramdaman na ito ng liderato ng Kamara.
Ayon kay Senador Panfio Lacson, kung talagang bukal sa kalooban ng liderato ng Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso ang sinasabi nitong pagsuporta sa legislative agenda ng Pangulo, dapat sumunod ito sa ninanais ng huli.
Una nang binanggit ng Pangulong Duterte na hindi niya pipirmahan ang pambansang badyet kapag nakitaan niya ito ng ilegal na nilalaman, oras na makarating sa Malacanang matapos na umano’y kalikutin pa ng Kamara kahit aprubado na at naratipikahan.
“He is correct. What I can’t understand is why the House leadership cannot take the hint from President Duterte himself,” pahayag ni Lacson matapos na mabatid ang mensahe ng Presidente.
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.