Palace steers clear of Senate war


Communication Secretary Ricky Carandang. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Malacañang is in no mood to act as a referee between warring factions in the Senate over its operational budget.

Communications Secretary Ricardo Carandang on Thursday invoked the principle of separation of powers in refusing to comment on the Christmas “cash gift” doled out by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to senators apparently loyal to his leadership.

“I don’t think the Palace has to comment on what is essentially an internal matter in the Senate. It’s better, I think, it’s well appropriate, to ask the senators themselves who are involved in the issue,” Carandang said at a Palace briefing.

Told that Enrile was giving away taxpayers’ money to members of the majority bloc, Carandang said: “We will not comment.”

The secretary was also mum on whether it was legal for the Senate to treat its savings as “institutional entitlements,” and thus purportedly beyond the reach of the national treasury.

Under the law, unspent savings should be returned to the treasury at the end of the year to be made available for other pressing programs of government, including infrastructure projects, antipoverty initiatives and social services.

“The Senate has fiscal autonomy from the executive. We can’t tell them how to spend their money,” Carandang said. Michael Lim Ubac

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  • G Gajelonia

    “The Senate has fiscal autonomy from the executive. We can’t tell them how to spend their money.” 

    It is Malacanang who keeps harping about clean governance (“Daang Matuwid”), and here is Mr. Carandang finding it inappropriate (?!) to interfere.  

    Bah, why waste my opinion on Mr. Carandang? The guy is detached from majority of Filipinos. He was the one who spent his department’s money on expensive Mac computers, remember?

    • Ronald

      You forget, Noynoy was a senator for years as well.  Mga current senators lang ba ang dapat i audit? 

  • Concerned Citizen

    Anong internal matter ang operational budget ng Senate pinagsasasabi ng mga eto?

  • Concerned Citizen


  • Your_King

    When it makes him look good and when it is easy Aquino is ready to enter the fray and either take credit or make a call for unity. But when it is hard work and calls for him to be Presidential, he is quick to wash his hands clean and close his eyes and take a nap on matters.

  • Ronald

    So btw, in those 12 years that Noynoy spent doing nothing as a law maker, saan napunta yung allocations nya?   

    • joshmale2004

      Check your facts please. Noynoy was elected for the Senate in 2007 with a term until 2013. But he ran for President in 2010 and won so he had to vacate his post in the Senate halfway of his full term. This explains why he had an unused P53M left in his budget as Senator. You ought to be thankful that he did not use this 53M for his presidential campaign or else, wala sanang ipapamudmud si Enrile. Kaya lang nasayang din as dapat binalik yung budget ni Noynoy sa National Treasury kesa pinamigay ni Enrile.

      Now for your sweeping statement and malicious statement of Noynoy doing nothing as a law maker, These were the House Bills passed by Noynoy : HB4251, 4397, 4252, 3616, 1842, 65, 788.

  • Pedro

    Ano ba naman yan Mr. Carandang, kung mali si Enrile, dapat sabihin nyo na mali sya. . .milyon milyon ang ipinamigay  nyang pera  ng naghihirap  na taong bayan  sa  mga corrupt na senador. . 

    • speaksoftlylove

      The fact is, ganun din naman ang pinagagawa ng palasyo, mas masahol pa nga.

      Tingnan mo si Soliman kesehodang krimen na Technical Malversation ang ginawa niya pero nagpabidding ng pangpaepal to the tune of 10.5 million kahit walang mandate. Wala ngang mandate ang Comelec dyan sa anti epal bill ni Santiago dahil di pa naging batas pero hayun nangunguna na si Soliman, makadelihensya lang at yong CCT na pangpalamon pa sa mga mahihirap ang pinakikialaman.

      Tapos gusto mo makialam sila sa Senado, get the drift?

  • 1Fz20

    This is not good leadership!!! The head of government must lead, direct or re-direct, manage, inspire the people/government to the right path(tuwid na daan, remember?)just like a great president once said, “The buck stops here!”.dont just be a spectator watching/cheering the gladiators tear themselves apart adn pulling the whole country down! For all legalities and technicalities, the leadership in govt must always lead! dont hide your head in the sand! fkturd.

  • Hey_Dudes

    Whatever you do better not get the old grumpy gizzard Enrile riled up to a point of him pouinding an ax instead of gavel to open up senate business affairs.

  • rjimenez1226

    It’s  such shameless do-nothing attitude that allows evil to thrive, The poor Filipino pwoplw!

  • agustin

    AB : wala akong comment dito, silent on this issue is akin to less mistake.let me play.

  • rjimenez1226

    kutchabahan poara lokohin ang masa!

  • Fulpol

    fiscal autonomy… WTF.. BS Aquino III attacked the Supreme Court because of fiscal autonomy…

    why can’t he attacked Senate? of course, di pwede.. nandyan si Porky Drilon et al….

    • ruel

      Yong Judificiary Fund ng Supreme Court sapilitang ipinadeposito sa KABAN ng BAYAN ayon sa COA . tapos pala itong SENADO>>>ipinamimigay lng sa kanilang mga kabaro.waaaaaaaaaah.Sarap maging SENADOR!..Mga MAKAKAPAL ANG MUKHA>>

  • Andres_Bagumbayan

    Alin sa dalawang dahilan,walang BAYAG ang nakaupong pangulong BS aquino upang patalsikin sa pagiging pangulo ng senado ang matandang senador na si Manong Johnny o hindi maalis ng Pangulo BS aquino si manong johnny sa dahilan isa si JPE sa mga “ASO” ng nakaupong Pangulo sa senado???

  • Andres_Bagumbayan

    Walang pagbabagong mangyayari sa administrasyon ni BS aquino sa dahilan patuloy pa din niyayakap ni BS aquino ang bulok na sistema ng lipunan…

    Basta kapanalig,kahit kurap ay kanyang kukunsintihin!!! Kunwari o balatkayo lamang ang kampanya niya laban sa kurapsyon dahil siya mismo ay isang malaking “Kurap at Trapong Pangulo”…

  • Bert

    After interfering in the affairs of congress and the senate such as RH Bill, Corona Impeachment, Cybercrime Law and many others, ABAH, bigla nalang naging INDEPENDENT and CO-EQUAL ang senado at bigla nalang TAHIMIK at walang masabe si PNOY tungkol sa GARAPALANG PAG WALDAS NG PERA NG TAONG-BAYAN.

    Carandang, the former ABS-CBN NEWSREADER is once again fooling the gullible pinoys.

    • ruel

      i agree….biglang depensa agad as co-equal branch of gov..ganito din kaya ang ginawa ng OP sa kanilang mga empleyado…???

  • $15469930

    Si Pnoy ba ginawa niya Ito sa mga malakanyang government employees sobrang pera ay ipamigay….Si enrile wala pakiaalam dahil hindi niya naman pera ang pinamimigay niya….Ganyang klase kailangan nating maging presidente. Mapagbigay sa mga rich people at hindi sa poor. Dahil ang poor people kailangan mo lang tuwing election.

  • Harry

    With all the fiscal autonomy where does institutional check and balance come in? 
    Any citizen has the right to question how the taxes he paid are squandered.

    • Bert

      That’s why we need the FOI BILL, asap…..But you will wonder, why is Malacanang and the other politicos are not interested in passing this very important bill?

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    I always enjoy listening to the tongue-in-cheek comments of Ricky Carandang especially when he ties himself into a knot. I equally enjoy the pronouncements of PNoy especially when they come from the side of his mouth, a speech habit unique to this president. Approaching the midpoint of his presidency, it is commendable that PNoy has finally learned to respect the independence of 3 co-equal branches of the government. But this newfound respect for the constitution and the wisdom of the constitution may just be selective. Only when it’s convenient for PNoy and his administration. The president’s man in DBM, Florencio Abad, continues to wield power over the congress through his control of PDAF and MOOE. In fact, it is Florencio Abad who proclaimed that the 50% increase in MOOE in 2012 contributed to greater economic growth (source: www,dbm,gov,ph/?p=5266). For the palace to attack MOOE would be tantamount to attack the much ballyhooed GDP growth based on MOOE.

    To MOOE or not to MOOE, that is the question.

  • manual47

    The buck stops at the highest office in the land…….
    The president has responsibility to the taxpayers how to spend these hard earned money (by the taxpayers) responsibly.  Not by these so called caretaker of the senate who has been spending carelessly as if money grows on tree.   Prove to the filipinos that “daang matuwid” is working as filipinos has beens seeing more of the same……..”corruptions” left and right.

  • $16638896

    pakapalan nalang ng mukha! instead na ibigay sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo eh binulsa ng mga kumag na senador ang pera ng bayan.

  • EdgarEdgar

    Senate war?

    This is taxpayers’ money. Please don’t trivialize this as senate war.

  • virgoyap

    Is it alright for Enrile or for any senator to use people’s money as a gift to his fellow senators so that he will stay as Senate President? Except for Meriam, it seems that most of the Senators have been blurred to distinguish what’s wrong and what is right, what is moral and what’s immoral, or is it because they benefited from the millions of pesos which is not suppose to be Enrile’s personal money?

  • marionics

    COA chief backs Enrile on Senate kitty

    MANILA, Philippines — There is nothing irregular with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s distribution of the savings of the Senate to his fellow senators, the chairperson of the Commission on Audit (COA) said Thursday.This, after Senator Miriam Santiago said she wants the COA to probe the savings of top government offices, including the Senate’s.She made the proposal after Enrile admitted giving P2.2 million in maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) funds each to 18 senators last Christmas, but distributed only P250,000 each to Senators Santiago, Antonio Trillanes IV, Pia Cayetano and Alan Peter Cayetano.COA Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan said it is stated in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) that the Senate has the authority to augment any item in the GAA from any savings in their respective appropriations.She added that the Senate President, as well as the speaker of the House, “have the authority to implement the organizational structure of their respective offices, and to determine the salaries, allowances and other benefits of their respective members.”
    “Meron pong kapangyarihan ang Senate President na itinalaga sa batas. As you know, the GAA is a law and was enacted by the Congress.”
    “By our understanding of the special provisions of the GAA eh mukha namang maliwanag na meron siya talagang kapangyarihan na mag-augment at mag-determine ng allowances and other benefits of the respective members,” the COA chief said.
    Pulido-Tan also said the agency regularly audits the budget for the MOOE. However, COA does not audit salaries, allowances and bonuses, she said.
    “Yung sa MOOE eh tinitingnan talaga namin sa audit ‘yun kung napunta nga ‘yun sa dapat puntahan. Kung salaries, wages, allowances and bonuses naman eh hindi na namin binubusisi ‘yun kung saan nila nilagay.”
    “Kasi ang bonus sayo eh, personal eh,” she said.
    Santiago earlier questioned Enrile’s claim that he has sole discretion on the distribution of funds, saying that the power is prone to abuse since Enrile could simply distribute funds to political allies.
    Addressing the issue, Pulido-Tan said, “‘Yun ang aming ‘di masasagot because the discretion is vested on the Senate President. Wala sa amin ‘yun.”
    Pulito-Tan added that the COA also has no authority on lowering the budget of the Senate.
    “Wala rin po sa competence namin ‘yun. It is the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) who has the competence and authority to determine what should be the appropriate budget for the Senate and the House of Representatives.”

    • Bert

      Quote: “It is the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) who has the competence and authority to determine what should be the appropriate budget for the Senate and the House of Representatives”.

      Kaya pala, so Manong Johny is just doing an ABAD when he indiscriminately splurge the senate funds.

      Indeed, It’s More Funds in the Philippines….

  • disqusted0fu

    Malacanang only interferes in things that they get something out of such as credit, money, popularity, etc. etc. If none of those things are involved, they do not care of what is happening in their surroundings!

  • unokritiko

    the house is divided into two longtime ago!!!
    before it is called upper which is the Senate and lower house,the congress.
    now it is still divided into two but the name is changed:
    upper house is now Magulang that can evade the law, now full of crooks and criminals!!
    lower house is of course the same crocodile congress!!!

    • manual47

      There’s no difference I guess.  Crooks resides on both houses.

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