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
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
If you notice, the budget bill has not been transmitted to Malacañang in spite of the bicam report being ratified by both houses of Congress more than two weeks ago.
I have it on good information that the House leadership is still waiting for several congressmen to finalize the submission of their individual projects. This is not to mention that insertions and realignments were made even after the bicameral report ratification.
While technically speaking, it may not constitute post-legislation enactment since the President has not yet signed the budget measure, we can see clear abuse of discretion especially if done without the concurrence of the Senate; it is also an utter disregard of the Supreme Court’s 2013 landmark ruling.
This latest caper that the House leadership is trying to pull off may also constitute violation of the 1987 Constitution. I’ve talked to some congressmen who expressed anxiety that the pork barrel allocations of at least 60 congressmen were slashed post-bicam ratification.
Whatever it is, these are things that they do for greed. It’s a shame and revolting, to say the least.