Lacson clears Mark Villar in DPWH budget amendments
Senator Panfilo Lacson appealed to his counterparts in the House of Representatives on Tuesday not to derail the confirmation of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar at the Commission on Appointments (CA).
This after the bicameral conference committee adopted Lacson’s proposal to remove the P8.3-billion transfer of funds from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) being headed by Villar.
The fund transfer was provided for in the House version of the proposed P3. 35-trillion national budget.
“I was told that Secretary of Public Works and Highways, Secretary Villar is feeling the brunt falling on his shoulders on account of the interventions the I made in the budget of the Department,” Lacson said during the bicameral committee hearing.
“I’d like to appeal kasi haharap sya (because he will be facing the) Commission on Appointments. I’d like to appeal to our counterparts in the House that he has nothing to do with the amendments that I introduced and was accepted by the Senate panel.”
“Just for the record, kindly appeal to your colleagues in the Commission on Appointments kasi na bypassed yata ngayon sa (because it seems to be bypassed now in the) confirmation on account of amendments that I introduced, it’s all me. Si Secretary Mark has nothing to do with those amendments,” he added.
In fact, Lacson said, Villar was appealing through his mother, Senator Cynthia Villar, for him to reconsider his amendment in the national budget. But Lacson stood by his amendment.
Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance, echoed Lacson’s appeal.
“We take note of that intervention of Senator Lacson and I’m one with him in appealing to our colleagues in the Commission on Appointments in the lower house to not connect any bicam attention to the CA. We appeal to you,” Legarda said.
She said Villar, whom she described as young and competent, deserves to be confirmed by the Commission.
Davao City Representative Karlo Alexie Nograles, chair of the House committee on appropriations, said they had no idea why Lacson brought up the matter during the bicam hearing.
“We’re all surprised, we’re all caught off guard why he (Lacson) brought that up here because truth be told hindi naman namin alam ang sinasabi nya e (we don’t know what he’s talking about). I don’t know why he’s attributing it to anything. There’s no connection whatsoever,” Nograles said told reporters after the hearing. CDG/rga
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