Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday slammed House members for allegedly confusing the public in defending the “pork insertions” they made in the P3.575-trillion national budget for 2019.
“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,” Lacson said.
Instead of engaging in obfuscation and personal attacks by their designated talking heads, Lacson said, 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,” Lacson said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III has maintained his hard-line stance in not signing the proposed budget if the House members will not agree to stick to what was ratified during the bicameral conference.
The Otso Diretso, composed of opposition senatorial candidates, supported Sotto’s position against signing the 2019 budget, which is said to have been tampered by the House leadership.
“We will only affix our signature on the document that faithfully reflects the voice of Congress and ratified by its members,” the opposition said in a statement.
They considered as outrageous how attempts were allegedly made to squeeze kickbacks from the budget document that has yet to leave the halls of Congress.
Otso Direrso’s campaign manager, Senator Francis Pangilinan, said the Senate would always be on guard to protect the people’s money.
For a budget for the people, he cited the need for lawmakers who are efficient and trustworthy and are willing to debate, deliberate and defend in plenary a pork-free budget.