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AT ODDS OVER TAX REFORM BILL

Angara willing to quit ways and means committee if Duterte asks him

/ 08:36 PM July 24, 2017

Sen. Sonny Angara said on Monday that he would be willing to resign from the Senate ways and means committee if President Rodrigo Duterte would ask him to do so.

Angara made the statement in ambush interview with reporters after Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation Address (Sona).

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During his speech, Duterte pressed the Senate to pass in full his administration’s comprehensive tax reform package.

Seemingly in jest, he warned Angara, who is pushing for some amendments to the bill, to be careful in the next elections if he would not cooperate in the passage of his version of the bill.

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“If the (Senate) can’t fulfill ’yung gusto nila in full, maybe we could take remedial action,” Angara said. “Like if they want me to resign, I would resign kasi talagang may aspects doon na hindi acceptable sa version niya.”

“That’s something we have to discuss with the Senate President and our colleagues,” he added. “If they’re not happy with the version they’re coming up with, we’re willing to resign our position. Hindi naman tayo kapit tuko sa position.”

Asked if he felt slighted by Duterte’s comment, the senator said: “You should ask him about it. That’s his personality. You never know if he’s serious or joking.”

But he said he was still willing to work with the administration on the tax reform package.

Asked about his concerns on the tax reform, Angara explained: “Sugar tax, for example: We’re worried about sa effect sa sugar industry, effect sa consumers. ’Yung on petroleum products, sa diesel, sa mga mangingisda, yung effect sa prices ng commodities medyo mabigat ’yun.”

Angara said, however, that the committee would continue to come up with a compromise with the Duterte administration on the proposed measure.

“We kind of expected this because it’s their flagship deal,” he said. “But we have to scrutinize the bill. That’s our duty. But, yes, we’re looking for a middle ground. Kung magmamatigas naman tayo walang patutunguhan.” /atm

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TAGS: 2017 Sona, comprehensive tax reform package, Rodrigo Duterte, Senate ways and means committee, Sonny Angara
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