Palace: Duterte to use veto power on 2019 national budget if needed
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte would veto “insertions” in the 2019 national budget if it goes against the Supreme Court ruling on “pork barrel,” Malacañang assured the public on Thursday.
“The President is a lawyer. He knows his law. If he thinks that is in violation of the doctrine enunciated by the Supreme Court [on pork barrel], then he will do what is right,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a Palace briefing.
Panelo issued the statement after Senator Panfilo Lacson urged the President to use his line-item veto power to remove the alleged “pork” inserted by lawmakers on the P3.757 trillion 2019 national budget.
The Senate and the House of Representatives have been locked in a standoff amid alleged “pork” insertions in the proposed expenditure plan for this year.
Panelo said the Palace recognizes Congress’ power to amend or review the budget proposed by the executive but also asserted the President’s authority to veto provisions of a measure.
“What we recognize is the power of Congress to amend, to review and to amend and to do whatever if feels is correct, necessary and right. We leave it to them. Now if the President feels that it’s wrong, then he can use his veto power to correct it,” he said. /kga