Without details backed by documents or at least sworn statements executed by his witnesses, if any, there may not be sufficient basis for the Senate to conduct a hearing although the Blue Ribbon Committee is allowed to conduct investigation in aid of legislation even without referral.
It now behooves the Chairman to make the call on the issue at hand.
Meantime, the onus is on Sen. Pacquiao at the very least to show some specifics in support of his allegations, which by its nature are serious, not to mention sensitive.
It can better serve the purpose of the expose if relevant documents that he said he has would be submitted to the Senate President or the Blue Ribbon Committee, so we can assess what next move to take on the issues that he presented in yesterday’s virtual press conference.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson renewed his call to fellow lawmakers for transparency, “particularly our amendments in the 2021 budget bill.”
Lacson stressed transparency is crucial to dispel suspicions of “compromises and personal interests in our proposed amendments.”
“If we have nothing to hide, we have to make our amendments public, as I have done in my case, so those amendments can be scrutinized by the media as well as the public. It is the mandate of Congress to make amendments to the budget bill; we cannot just adopt the National Expenditure Program in toto,” he said in an interview on DZRH radio Friday evening.
Isinusulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pag-amyenda sa ilang nilalaman ng P4.5 trilyon na gastusin para sa susunod na taon, upang pondohan ang mga programang tutugon sa epekto ng COVID-19.
Ayon kay Lacson, kailangang masigurado ang pondo para sa pagbangon ng mga sektor ng kalusugan at ekonomiya bunga ng pagkalugmok na inabot ng mga ito sa mahabang panahon ng pananalasa sa bansa ng nabanggit na pandemya.
“First things first. We should first address the pandemic and its effects: Health issues, development, recovery of the economy. Those are what we need to address in the 2021 budget,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panayam sa ABS-CBN News Channel.
“I want the budget to be responsive to the sign of the times. I want it to be responsive to the budget philosophy of Reset, Rebound, Recover. These are what we need for 2021. Not the multi-purpose buildings, not the double appropriations, not the right-of-way payments that cannot be accomplished anyway,” dagdag ng mambabatas.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Wednesday bared details of proposed amendments to the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget bill to make sure it is responsive to the sign of the times.
Lacson said these proposed amendments include augmenting the budgets to ensure health, development and economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, Lacson said he is open to passing a special budget or special law like the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act to allow the President to realign funds to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.
“I want the budget to be responsive to the sign of the times. I want it to be responsive to the budget philosophy of Reset, Rebound, Recover. These are what we need for 2021. Not the multi-purpose buildings, not the double appropriations, not the right-of-way payments that cannot be accomplished anyway,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
“First things first. We should first address the pandemic and its effects: Health issues, development, recovery of the economy. Those are what we need to address in the 2021 budget,” he added.
Isinulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson na madagdagan ang pondo para sa implementasyon ng National ID, Universal Health Care at Quality Tertiary Education sa 2020, sa pamamagitan ng realignment sa ilang malalabong gastusin sa 2020 budget.
“The National ID system needs at least P5.565 billion in 2020 to cover the registration of some 14 million Filipinos and resident aliens. But the proposed 2020 budget presently allocates only P2.4 billion under the unprogrammed fund for it. This amount covers only 6.3 million Filipinos,” pagsisiwalat ng senador.
Several funded items in the P4.1-trillion proposed national budget for 2020 can be realigned to more worthwhile programs to fund three landmark laws passed under the present administration: the PhilSys Act (National ID) program, Universal Health Care Act, and the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
“There are many items in the 2020 budget that can be realigned for the National ID. One of them is the National Greening Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” he said in an interview on DZMM Wednesday.
Citing the need for transparency, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has made public the details of the institutional amendments he proposed in the P3.7-trillion national budget for 2019.
Lacson expressed hope other proponents of amendments to the budget will do the same, to remove speculations that the bicameral conference committee is a venue for “horse trading” and compromises among legislators.
“In the spirit of transparency, I instructed my staff to make public all my amendments in the 2019 national budget. I hope all proponents will do the same to remove all suspicions that the bicameral conference is a venue for sneaky horse trading among legislators,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.
Confirmation of a presidential appointee or nominee, especially a Cabinet member, by the Commission on Appointments always follows two basic criteria: fitness and qualification. Passion and enthusiasm do not automatically translate into the two criteria.
Ms. Regina Paz Lopez obviously has a lot of passion and enthusiasm, but evidently, in my own observation and analysis of her performance during the entire confirmation proceedings, she is not fit for the job nor is she qualified. Worse, she admittedly arrogated unto herself the authority which is not prescribed under the existing laws of the land. That makes her potentially dangerous as a department head. Further, she has authoritarian tendencies.
On a personal note, I hate being intimidated and pressured in the performance of my duties as a legislator and member of the CA. Her supporters can speculate all they want why I voted to reject her confirmation but these are my reasons and nothing more.