Palace on De Lima’s remarks: ‘We will ignore her rantings’
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Saturday said they will ignore Sen. Leila De Lima’s rants against the government’s infrastructure program.
“A detained senator from the opposition has described the Build, Build, Build program, ‘grossly inefficient,’ among other nonsensical descriptives and false narratives,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement. “As promised, we will ignore her rantings as her senses apparently have flown to the cuckoo’s nest. We will just watch her in amusement as she cantankerously pontificates like a headless chicken running berserk.”
On Friday, De Lima issued a dispatch from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, saying: “The government’s grossly inefficient implementation of the ’Build Build Build’ program consistently manifests itself to the public. No flowery words nor glittery promises can hide the truth.”
She cited a Commission on Audit (COA) report that found “P73.351-billion worth of infrastructure projects were either delayed, suspended, terminated, or unimplemented in 2017 costing the government P27.647 million in commitment fees to banks.”
According to Panelo, however, the program “has already gone out from the burner and many of their grandiose infrastructure initiatives have commenced.”
But he admitted: “There have been delays in the commencement of the projects owing to the bureaucratic rigmarole caused by the legal restraints and resort to judicial remedies by the losing bidders, to which the President has expressed his exasperation and frustration.”
Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte was facing these obstacles “squarely” and they had “started removing them in accordance with the 1987 Constitution.”
But he pointed out that government’s infrastructure and capital outlays rose in the first 10 months of 2018 by 50.3 percent to P665.1 billion from the P442.7 billion recorded in the same period in 2017, according to the Department of Budget and Management.
“The economic horizon appears to be bright per our economic managers,” he said. “The economic measures placed by them have curbed inflation and the prices in the market have gone down.”
Panelo said the administration would focus on improving the lives of Filipinos through its projects despite criticisms from the opposition.
“While detractors of this Administration consistently deliberate on how to mudsling the President’s achievements, we remain focused on how to improve the lives of our countrymen through projects that will bring about genuine change for the nation,” he said. /atm
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