Palace: Vetoed P95.3B in 2019 national budget ‘unconstitutional’
MANILA, Philippines — The P95.3 billion vetoed provisions in the 2019 national budget was “unconstitutional,” Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing that those vetoed portions “are the so-called insertions, riders. They are not part of the program by the DPWH. Hence, it violates the Constitution.”
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the much-delayed General Appropriations Bill (GAB) into law on April 15. The total approved national budget for this year was P3.757-trillion, but Duterte vetoed P95.3 billion of it.
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, further said the vetoed items were “unprogrammed.”
“Remember the decision of the Supreme Court? The decision of the Supreme Court was that if they are unprogrammed, then, it violates the Constitution,” he said.
“As I have said in my statement, those vetoed provisions are in violation of the Constitution or it is against certain statutes. That was also the statement made by the President,” he added.
When asked if the vetoed items are “pork,” Panelo said: “They are in violation of Constitution, whether you call it pork or beef or meat or fish. Those provisions are violative of the basic charter.”
“The message is always you follow the Constitution. Any deviation from the Constitution will not be approved by the President or will not be tolerated,” he added. /kga
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.