Opposition senatorial bets hit ‘pork’ in 2019 budget, ‘horse-trading’ in gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — “Buti pa ang mga pulitiko may pork; ang mga mamamayan walang makain.”
Former Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III made this remark to summarize the sentiment of opposition senatorial bets, who slammed the practice of allocating “pork” in the national budget “which has led to allegations of rampant corruption in government.”
“Sabi sa Saligang Batas, ‘We the people,’ ibig sabihin, interes ng taumbayan ang dapat ipinaglalaban ng gobyerno, at hindi interes ng iilang pulitiko,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said: “Ang trabaho ng mambabatas, gumawa ng batas at bantayan ang pera ng mamamayan, hindi ang lumuhod sa ehekutibo para sa proyektong idadaan sa mga kaibigan nilang contractor.”
Earlier, House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. bared that a single contractor cornered 30 government projects worth billions of pesos even before Congress can approve the executive department’s proposed 2019 national budget.
For his part, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno criticized the “horse-trading” in government.
He said this results to lawmakers having their respective “pet projects” into the national budget in exchange for votes on key political issues like the recently approved draft federal Charter and third extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“No to pork; yes to accountability. Pang-trapo ang pork… Sa trapo ang sarap, sa atin ang pahirap,” Diokno said.
He then called on Congress to address “the real concerns of the people” instead of spending time on matters like Charter change and martial law.
On the other hand, Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) member Samira Gutoc lamented the lack of transparency on the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi even if lawmakers appeared to be bickering over millions of pesos for their budget.
“Nag-aaway-away sa milyones ang nasa taas, habang ang nasa baba walang pambili ng gatas,” she said, adding that the practice of “pork” among lawmakers is “insensitive.”
“Sila-sila ang nag-uusap; tayo, naiiwang naghihirap. Ganyan din ang ginawa nila sa Marawi,” she also claimed. /kga
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