Budget standoff: ‘We’re your allies,’ Palace reminds House
With the budget hearings halted in Congress, Malacañang wants to know what kind of ties they have now with the House of Representatives under a new leadership.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday that they are wondering why the budget proposed by President Rodrigo Duterte for 2019 was rejected “in its entirety.”
Duterte has proposed a P3.757 trillion cash-based budget to Congress, but lawmakers are questioning the feasibility of operating on a cash-based budgeting system.
“With the budget being rejected by Congress, we don’t know what ties we have with the House now,” Roque said in a press briefing.
While they respect the independence of House lawmakers, Roque reminded them that “there’s a concept of ‘political allies.’”
“We’d like to think that they continue to be important allies of the President but apparently, the change of leadership has also brought in a different kind of relationship,” Roque said.
“The concept of majority is—or administration is, you want to support the administration. And when you reject the project outright, it’s not something you expect from an administration party.”
But Roque clarified that they are not casting doubt on their ties with the House leadership.
The spokesman explained that they want an explanation why lawmakers whom Duterte “considers as his closest allies have rejected it (the budget) outright.”
“We are not blaming anyone. I’ve not heard—We have not heard anything at all from Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,” Roque said.
“It’s for the House to clarify,” he said. “We are not demanding. It’s up to them. We submitted proposed budget which is pursuant to the Constitution and they said it’s not acceptable. We don’t know how to proceed from there.” /je
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