Defensor wants budget cut for Senate after Lacson’s pork allegations
MANILA, Philippines — Aside from demanding an apology, Anakalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor also wants to reduce the budget of the Senate and realign such to district and party-list representatives.
“Besides from demanding an apology from the Honorable Lacson, would you also advocate taking out a budget from the Senate, no initiative coming from them, since they do not have a constituency anyway?” Defensor asked Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro who demanded an apology from Lacson moments before on Wednesday.
The party-list lawmaker also said the entire Senate, which “cannot discipline a member amongst their ranks,” should apologize to the House over Lacson’s pork-barrel allegations.
Castro said if that is allowed in the Constitution then he “does not see the logic why they [the Senate] should be given funds.”
Defensor then said Castro should be part of the bicameral conference committee that would tackle the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020. Castro said he is willing to do so.
Congress was allotted P22.8 billion under the 2020 General Appropriations Bill passed by the House last Sept. 20. From this, the Senate will get P7.4 billion; the Senate Electoral Tribunal, P0.292 billion; the Commission on Appointments, P0.817 billion; the House of Representatives, P14 billion; and the House Electoral Tribunal, P0.16 billion.
Lacson earlier said some congressmen told him that the 22 deputy speakers of the House would get an additional allocation of P1.5 billion each — a claim he said has to be verified. On Tuesday, however, he said the House canceled its alleged attempt to allot “pork” for House members. /muf
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