Sotto hits Andaya’s ‘palusot’
MANILA, Philippines — “Palusot.”
This was how Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III described on Monday Camarines Rep. Rolando Andaya’s statement that the recall of the modified 2019 national budget would still need plenary approval of the House of Representatives.
“It appears he (Andaya) is not well versed with parliamentary procedures. You do not need to approve in plenary sending of signed bills by the Speaker. Palusot,” Sotto said in a Viber message to reporters.
“Hundreds of bills were sent just recently together with the GAB (General Appropriations Bill). They were not in session. Anong (What) plenary?” he further said.
The Senate and the House have been on a standoff after the latter reportedly made changes to the 2019 budget bill after it was already ratified by both chambers last February 8.
The House later submitted the new version of the bill to the Senate for concurrence.
But Sotto refused to sign the House version, calling it unconstitutional.
In an interview early on Monday, however, Senator Panfilo Lacson disclosed that the House leadership had agreed to recall its version of the budget bill as relayed to him by San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.
Andaya, chair of the House appropriations committee, argued though that the recall of the measure must be done in the House plenary.
“The 2019 GAB was approved in the plenary at the House of Representatives. The ratification of the bicameral conference report on the national budget was also made in plenary. Recall of the 2019 GAB must also be done in the plenary session, with majority members of the House in approval,” the lawmaker said in a statement.
This issue, according to Lacson, must be resolved by the House.
“I’ve known Cong Zamora for a long time, and I have no reason to doubt or question the truthfulness of his proposition that he has been authorized by Speaker (Gloria Macapagal) Arroyo to negotiate with us in breaking the budget impasse,” Lacson said.
“Whatever the issue, there is a simple answer to a simple question: are they withdrawing their version of the “draft Enrolled Bill” or not? Well, Cong. Zamora has already answered that. They will withdraw. Everything else is speculation,” he added.
Contrary to senators’ claim, Arroyo insisted that the House version was constitutional as they only itemized the “unconstitutional” lump sums allegedly approved by the Senate. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.