Lacson: Thanks to Bravo, Castro for enlightening public about ‘evil pork’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo M. Lacson on Sunday “thanked” two congressmen who have been criticizing him over the 2019 national budget for enlightening the public on the controversy.
Lacson said that the more House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro and COOP-NATCCO party-list Representative Anthony Bravo talk about the budget, the more the public would know about the “evil pork” lying beneath the national funds.
“What Speaker [Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s] talking heads obviously do not realize is that they’re actually advancing my cause in educating the public more about the ‘evil pork’ in the national budget,” Lacson said in a statement.
“I earnestly urge them to continue this public discourse. Many thanks to Cong. Castro and Bravo,” Lacson he added.
Both Castro and Bravo previously issued some statements on pork in the budget over the weekend.
On Friday, Bravo accused Lacson of having secret amendments in the proposed P3.8-trillion budget for 2019.
Bravo said that Lacson was sabotaging the approval of the national budget by describing the House amendments as “pork” while for the Senate “institutional amendments.”
However, Lacson said that these accusations were lies.
“If he intended to be truthful about his statements, he should not have skipped my revelation about the P23-billion insertions made by a number of senators on the Department of Public Works and Highways’ budget alone,” Lacson said.
“What I cannot understand is why Bravo would be conveniently selective in his recollection of facts. I hope he would be truthful and not resort to lying,” he added.
Castro, on the other hand, dared Lacson to “explain” the institutional amendments he made in the budget.
According to Lacson, his institutional amendments aim to benefit the sectors of education, the environment and national security—all of them based on need, planning, and vetting.
He added that he has already made his amendments public. Lacson also urged Bravo to publicize his amendments.
The 2019 national budget is expected to be ratified before Wednesday as both chambers of the Senate and House already have an “understanding” on the issue.
“Hindi ko po sasabihin na may agreement o may kasunduan. Mayroon lang pong understanding ang members ng House of Representatives at Senado na maaaring matapos ang usapin sa budget ng 2019 nitong susunod na linggo,” Castro said in a news forum on Saturday.
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