Solon blasts Lacson: ‘He mocks House and projects himself as upright, clean’
MANILA, Philippines — House Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano hit Senator Panfilo Lacson for supposedly “mocking the House of Representatives” and projecting himself as “upright and clean” by disowning the national budget.
Paduano made the remark Thursday in reaction to Lacson’s proposal that the P20 billion needed for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines be sourced “from the insertions made by lawmakers marked ‘FLR’ (For Later Release) because the implementing agencies concerned were not consulted on the insertions.”
“I hate to say this, but the honorable senator is fond of mocking the House of Representatives,” Paduano said in a statement.
“There are also appropriations for the construction of the Senate building, why not include that for realignment? The problem with Senator Lacson is the fact that he always projects himself as upright and clean by disowning the budget,” he added.
Asked for a comment on Paduano’s remarks, Lacson said: “An irrational statement like that is not worth even a whimper of a comment.”
Paduano also said that Lacson has “always been blaming the lower House” over the issue of the national budget “forgetting the fact that budgets are passed and approved by both Houses.”
“Tumingin ka muna sa sarili mong bakuran [Look at your own backyard], the House of Senate is one-half of Congress that you are talking about,” Paduano said.
Paduano said that the Supreme Court, in its ruling on the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), had declared that post-enactment activities of legislators are disallowed during the implementation of the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
“Clearly, Senator Lacson is interfering with the affairs of the Executive Branch in the implementation of the GAA,” Paduano said.
“Members of Congress are elected to legislate as well as to ensure that laws are faithfully executed. The President is elected to direct the affairs of the government and execute the laws faithfully, to each his own, mahirap naman ‘yan na Senador ka na tapos ikaw magpapatupad ng batas, hindi na yata tama ‘yan,” he added.
(It’s difficult when you are a senator and you are the one who will implement the law, that is not right.)
Lacson has argued that there would be no need to enter into more loans for the purchase of the vaccines if the government realigned the FLR funds.
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