File charges over ‘corruption’ in proposed budget – Tinio
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate and House of Representatives should file cases against each other after exchanging accusations of anomalies in the proposed P3.8-trillion 2019 national budget, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said Tuesday.
“Nalantad na ang lahat ng mga anomalya at posibilidad ng corruption sa budget na ito, nagbabatuhan ng akusasyon ang Senado at Kongreso. Yamang nandyan na ‘yan, dapat magsampahan na ng kaso,” the Makabayan lawmaker said during a press briefing.
Tinio asserted that if all the accusations were left not acted upon, then all the bickering between the upper and lower Houses over the spending bill becomes a mere “show” to allow President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to continue operating under the 2018 reenacted budget. He added that the offense could “generally” be “graft and corruption.”
“Otherwise palabas lang ‘yan at binibigyan lang ng palabas na ito si Pangulong Duterte ng excuse para magkaroon ng reenacted budget na pakikinabangan pangunahin ng administrasyon mismo ni Pangulong Duterte lalo na sa darating na eleksyon dahil kontrolado ng Presidente ang buong budget at napakadaling gamitin nito para ipanalo ng administrasyon ang kanilang mga kandidato,” the party-list congressman said.
“Stop these games at harapin ang trabaho, aprubahan na at ipatupad ang budget para maswelduhan ‘yung ating mga emplyeado nang tama,” he appealed.
House appropriations panel chair Rolando Andaya Jr. belied on Monday Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s claim that detailing the ratified General Appropriations Bill (GAB) was unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court ruling on the unconstitutional Priority Development Assistance Fund only prohibits the “post-enactment stage” tinkering or adjustments in the budget, Andaya claimed.
But ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said this was just an “unacceptable excuse.” She added that the itemization of lump sum funds should have been completed before Congress ratified the GAB.
Congress ratified the 2019 spending bill last February 8 before it went on an election break. Andaya said the House appropriations committee received the Senate’s itemized report of amendments only on February 11.
Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson has been accusing Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of unlawfully funneling nearly P95 billion in infrastructure funds to the districts of her House allies after Congress ratified the final version of the budget this year. /cbb
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