In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answers questions on: – Senate-HOR meeting to end the budget impasse
– complaint filed by former Ombudsman and SFA vs Chinese leader before ICC
– measures to prevent future water crises
– localized peace talks with CPP-NPA
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.
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.”
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answers questions on the delay in the passage of the P3.757-trillion budget for 2019, including the following issues: – presidential line-veto of the 2019 budget
– need for sanctions on violations of SC rulings
– possible stalemate on the budget
Makakatulog na nang mahimbing sa gabi si Senador Panfilo Lacson kung ang pag-uusapan ay ang pagbabantay niya sa kaban ng bayan laban sa mga wala sa lugar na paggastos at paghahangad ng mga kasamahan na kumupit sa pondong ito.
Nararamdaman na kasi ng mambabatas na nagiging epektibo na ang naumpisahang krusada laban sa pag-abuso ng mga kasamahan sa pambansang gastusin ng pamahalaan dahil sa katakawan sa pork barrel.
Ayon kay Lacson, bilang isang mambabatas ay kabilang sa kanyang sinumpaang obligasyon sa publiko ay ang mahigpit na bantayan laban sa pang-aabuso ang taunang gastusin ng pamahalaan.
“If by exposing all attempts by some lawmakers to go around the Supreme Court ruling declaring pork as unconstitutional, thus stymieing the selfish interests of those elected to perform their legislative duty, I’ll be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that I’ve done my share in guarding against unnecessary wastage of public funds that has prevented our country from taking off and become competitive,” pahayag ni Lacson.
“If by exposing all attempts by some lawmakers to go around the Supreme Court ruling declaring pork as unconstitutional, thus stymieing the selfish interests of those elected to perform their legislative duty, I’ll be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that I’ve done my share in guarding against unnecessary wastage of public funds that has prevented our country from taking off and become competitive,” he said.
“My critics would claim I am just making a lot of noise but I do not let such negative comments affect, much less stop me. This is my biggest advocacy because the budget is the lifeblood of the nation. If this blood is taken away, the nation may suffer from anemia, or even a stroke,” he added.
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.
To the Manila Standard: It is quite pathetic that Mr. Olivar, instead of helping his former boss clear up the issue of pork in the 2019 budget, chose the path of his fellow talking heads by hurling personal innuendos at the Senator to muddle the issue.
Sa halip na magdulot ng kahihiyan, lalong nakatulong ang mga kongresistang naglilihis sa tunay na pangyayari sa 2019 national budget para maunawaan ng publiko ang krusada ni Senador Panfilo Lacson laban sa pork barrel.
Ayon kay Lacson, ang mga kongresistang nagsalita na ang mismong nagpaabot sa publiko kung gaano kaganid ang mga ito bunga na rin ng pagbaluktot sa mga usapin, makapagpasasa lamang sa pork barrel na itinago sa iba’t ibang ahensiya.
Matapos ang sunod-sunod na pagbubunyag ng mga nakatagong pork barrel sa iba’t ibang ahensiya mula sa deliberasyon sa Senado hanggang sa pagtalakay nito sa bicameral panel, nagpalusot at nag-imbento ng buwelta kay Lacson ang ilang kaalyado ni House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The more they talk, the more they enlighten the public about the “evil pork” in the national budget, if unwittingly so.
On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson thanked the “talking heads” of House Speaker Gloria Arroyo for contributing to the public’s knowledge on the issue.
“What Speaker GMA’s talking heads obviously do not realize is that they’re actually advancing my cause in educating the public more about the ‘evil pork’ in the national budget. I earnestly urge them to continue this public discourse. Many thanks to Cong. Castro and Bravo,” Lacson said in a post on his Twitter account Saturday night.
Kailangan na ring mag-imbestiga ang Ombudsman sa maeskandalong pagkakabunyag sa ‘pork insertions’ ng mga kongresistang kadikit ng kasalukuyang pamunuan sa Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso.
Ito ang naging mensahe ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, makaraang inguso ni House Majority Leader Rolanda Andaya Jr. ang isang contractor na umano’y nakakopo na sa mga proyekto sa susunod na taon kahit hindi pa aprubado ang 2019 national budget.
Sa kanyang Twitter post, inihayag ni Lacson na puwede nang manghimasok ang Ombudsman, bukod pa sa maaring gawin ng Kongreso matapos ang pagbubunyag ni Andaya.
“Expose pa more! A single contractor bagging 30 flood control projects worth billions of pesos calls for a congressional inquiry/Ombudsman investigation. Thank God I found an unlikely ‘ally’ in Cong. Andaya,” saad ni Lacson.
With exposes on “pork” in the proposed P3.7-trillion budget for 2019 now coming out left and right, it may be time for new Ombudsman Samuel Martires to step into the picture.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said this Tuesday as he thanked an unlikely ally for revealing that a single contractor hogged no less 30 flood control projects worth billions of pesos.
Lacson said both the House of Representatives and the Office of the Ombudsman can conduct their own probes into the revelations.
“Expose pa more! A single contractor bagging 30 flood control projects worth billions of pesos calls for a congressional inquiry/Ombudsman investigation. Thank God I found an unlikely ‘ally’ in Cong. Andaya,” Lacson said in a post on his Twitter account.
If the “pork” in Pampanga and Camarines Sur worth some P4.3 billion stemmed from a “misplaced gesture of generosity,” the beneficiaries can show good faith by declining such amounts, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
Lacson issued the advice after House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said the allocations were a show of “misplaced generosity” to public works regional directors seeking funding for road and flood control projects.
“Since Majority Leader Andaya claims that the huge earmarks for his and (Speaker Gloria) Arroyo’s districts are a case of ‘misplaced gesture of generosity,’ maybe they can display a ‘genuine gesture of good faith’ by deleting or reducing those humongous allocations,” Lacson said on his Twitter account.
In an interview, Sen. Lacson answers questions on:
– delays in the passage of the national budget for 2019
– reported plan to set up Alsa Masa-style network vs insurgency
– visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping
First, Speaker Arroyo’s recommendation is based on the wrong premise. The IPU has yet to act on its Human Rights Committee’s recommendation to the IPU Governing Council. Having said that, it is premature, if at all, to denounce the IPU as a whole, much less withdraw membership from the body.
Second, by withdrawing, it would imply that the Philippine Senate acknowledges the political persecution of opposition senators.
Contrarily, the recent resolution of Sen. Trillanes’ coup d’etat case by the Makati RTC Branch 148 is proof enough that the judicial process works in our country, and that the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislative is evident and clear.
Third, it is the Senate, not the House of Representatives, that is a member of the IPU, so I’m not sure where Speaker GMA is coming from.
At the #MeetInquirer multimedia forum, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘Hybrid’ budget
– National ID
– President Duterte’s reported thinking of stepping down
– Addressing the problems at BOC
– Pork barrel system
– PDEA’s need to refocus anti-drug strategy
– Sen. Tito Sotto as Senate President
– Political scene 2022
With the policy statement issued by Speaker Arroyo concerning all the congressmen’s earmarks for their respective districts, expect a massive mangling of the National Expenditure Program (NEP).
If not checked, we will be back to the happy ‘pork barrel’ days of legislators in spite of the Supreme Court ruling outlawing the same.
Worse, all the planning involved in the preparation of the national budget will be rendered inutile to the detriment of the medium development plan of the national government, as well as the local development plans submitted by the local government units (LGUs).
I hope some like-minded colleagues in the Senate will also work overtime, as I am determined to do, in scrutinizing the House version of the appropriations bill to expose and slice whatever “pork” there is in whatever form and no matter how deeply hidden, with the end in view of preventing the return of this malevolent practice now declared unconstitutional with finality by the Supreme Court.