Hontiveros tells Cayetano: Bayanihan bill scrutinized to avoid another P50-M ‘kaldero’
Update (This version corrects the chronological order of the social media posts of the two legislators. )
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros has explained to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano that Filipinos want to scrutinize the Bayanihan Bill of 2020 to avoid another incident where the government paid for a P50-million “kaldero.”
Hontiveros noted on Tuesday that there was nothing wrong if people would want to ensure that the proposed measure that will grant President Rodrigo Duterte special powers amid the COVID-19 outbreak is safe from corruption.
“Alan, there’s nothing deceitful about wanting the people to get the protections they deserve and making sure funds are being spent on what they really need,” she said in a Facebook post.
“People don’t want another P50M kaldero,” Hontiveros added, referring to the supposedly “Imeldific” P50 million cauldron that was used during the 20th edition of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Alan, there’s nothing deceitful about wanting the people to get the protections they deserve & making sure funds are being spent on what they really need.People don’t want another P50M kaldero.🙅🏻♀
The SEA Games was organized by the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), which was chaired by Cayetano. Before the games started, Phisgoc was marred with allegations of corruption and incompetence, with the cauldron being labeled too extravagant.
But according to Cayetano, for a “work of art”, it is way cheaper than Singapore’s cauldron that cost P62 million.
Cayetano called the criticism of the Bayanihan Bill as deceitful, as the law itself would supposedly address the opposition’s concerns like mass testing and support for health workers.
Both Senate and the House passed the measure, with the House doing it late Monday night and the Senate on early Tuesday morning. Hontiveros opposed the passage of the bill through a statement delivered via phone patch.
In a Facebook live video on Monday, Cayetano alluded to a “female senator” who criticized the Bayanihan Bill.
“Ang gusto kong linawin, meron kasing isang Senadora at ilang pong mga followers nila ang nagpopost na ‘no to emergency powers, no to emergency powers, yes to testing, yes to food, yes to medical supplies’,” Cayetano said.
“Very deceitful po or dishonest ‘yon gano’n pong klase ng comparison. Kasi po ‘yong authority under this law ‘yong Bayanihan to Heal as One, precisely will give you the mechanism and the resources na kailangan to solve the problem,” he added.
An hour after Cayetano’s remark, Hontiveros poked fun at politicians who supposedly said that the crisis is not an apt time to do politics but later appeared in a photo that compares “himself” to frontliners.
“It’s not time to do politics,” said a certain someone who did a photo-op & compared himself to the frontliners dahil lang pumasok siya today. 🙄
The senator did not specify who the politician was, but Cayetano figured in a photo, holding a sign with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea that urged people to stay at home as they and frontliners have come to work for them.
The photo has drawn widespread criticism, while social media users have turned the photo into different memes.
As of now, Luzon is still under an enhanced community quarantine, due to rising COVID-19 cases. The Department of Health said that there are already 552 confirmed cases in the Philippines, 35 of which have already died while at least 20 have recovered.
Worldwide, over 370,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded, while 16,228 patients have died, and another 97,677 patients have recovered.
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