Lacson reminds lawmakers: Moderate your pork
MANILA, Philippines — Moderate your pork.
Senator Panfilo Lacson gave this gentle reminder on Tuesday as he vowed to continue his crusade against pork barrel in the 18th Congress.
“Hindi naman pwedeng porke’ t dating senador magiging Speaker, e larga na rin kami kung may insertions na papayagan (It does not mean that when a senator becomes Speaker, [budget] insertions will be allowed),” Lacson said in an interview at his office in the Senate.
“So hindi mababawi ang position ko. And I suppose dahil sa nakaraang taon, I think I have more or less ang suporta ng majority ng mga senador, naroon na rin sa position na scrutinize natin ang budget (They cannot take back my position. In the past year, I think I have more or less the support of the majority of senators and we were in the position to scrutinize the budget),” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte has endorsed former senator and now Taguig Representative Alan Peter Cayetano as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, but he would share the three-year term with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Lacson noted that the passage of this year’s budget was delayed because of the alleged pork insertions in the House even after its ratification.
“Ang sa akin, ang bottom line huwag nila masyadong damihan ang pork barrel nila. Or huwag naman masyadong sobra kasi ma-o-obvious (For me, the bottom line is to regulate the pork barrel, or at least keep at the level that it’s not so obvious),” he said.
A former senator at the helm of the House is also not an assurance of smooth passage of next year’s budget, according to Lacson.
“Let’s see. Kasi maski Speaker siya (Cayetano), isa lang naman siyang congressman. E papaano kung ang iba hindi maawat at mag-insert din (Even if he is the Speaker, he is also a congressman. What if others will also make the same insertions)?” Lacson asked.
“Remember nang namimili sila ng Speaker may narinig tayo may P200 million per congressman (Remember that when they are choosing the Speaker, we’ve heard that there will be some P200 million per congressman),” he disclosed.
“Well, P200M per congressman, if you are counting 300 congressmen or you do your math magkano na yan para sa pork pa lang? Napakalaki (how much will that be per congressman? It’s huge),” he added.
Lacson reiterated that he would not allow excessive insertions in the budget, especially without consultations with concerned government agencies. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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