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.
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.
In an interview on DZBB, Sen. Lacson discloses how a whopping P95 billion of the DPWH’s 2019 budget was manipulated for pork. Other topics in the interview:
– Senate’s stand on not signing the ‘manipulated’ budget bill
– investigation of former PCSO GM Balutan
“Sabihin ko na tahasan. Ginulo ng House of Representatives kasi ayaw nila sumunod sa Constitution. Ayaw nila sumunod sa legislative process na tama. Sa ngalan ng pork barrel.”
The 2019 national budget is doomed, but not to our own liking.
I will raise a big legal issue before my colleagues in the Upper House out of this latest scheme that our Lower House counterparts led by their Speaker is resorting to, in order to manipulate the ratified bicameral committee report.
Based on information shared by several members of the House of Representatives themselves, and I completely agree, among the other manipulations being undertaken by the House leadership on the ratified bicameral report prior to the printing and enrollment of the budget measure, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has no business or legal authority to prepare and impose the menu list of the Department of Health appropriations for Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) worth PhP25 million in individual allocations for her favored congressmen, including a PhP2.5-million allocation for the purchase of an ambulance; while only PhP8 million are being distributed to those who did not support her election as Speaker.
Worse, exercising this latest brazen, illegal act after the bicameral committee report has been adopted and ratified by both houses smacks of grave abuse of discretion on the part of Speaker Arroyo, not to mention a clear violation of the 1987 Constitution, specifically Art VI Sec 26 paragraph 2, thus:
I maintain, and I trust that majority of my colleagues in the Senate will agree, that such realignments ordered by Speaker Arroyo prior to the printing of the proposed 2019 budget is clearly unconstitutional and inappropriate.
Needless to say, and it is basis in our legislative process that the House as a body has the sole power to make the amendments, not the Speaker, and certainly not after the ratification of the bicameral report.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– possible delay in the signing of the 2019 budget due to House’s post-ratification pork
– need to revisit RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty amid US State Secretary Pompeo’s assurance