(Eagle News)–Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday, March 1, slammed as “revolting” what he said were the insertions and realignments being done by some lawmakers to the P3.7-trillion national budget for 2019 even after the bill was ratified by both houses of Congress.
He said this was as some lawmakers felt “anxiety” for the slashing of the pork barrel allocations of at least 60 colleagues after the bicameral ratification of the proposed national budget.
“I have it on good information that the House leadership is still waiting for several congressmen to finalize the submission of their individual projects,” Lacson said.
According to Lacson, while “technically speaking” what they were doing “may not constitute post-legislation enactment since the President has not yet signed the budget measure, we can see clear abuse of discretion especially if done without the concurrence of the Senate.”
He said it was also “an utter disregard of the Supreme Court’s 2013 landmark ruling” which declared unconstitutional the pork barrel, and may be seen as a violation of the 1987 Constitution.
“Whatever it is, these are things that they do for greed. It’s a shame and revolting, to say the least,” he said.
The P3.7-trillion proposed national budget is still awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.
Lacson, however, who has been very vocal against the pork barrel, has urged the President to use his “line-item veto power” to remove “pork inserted by lawmakers” who are “incorrigibly insatiable and “beyond redemption.”
Earlier, Lacson said that one or more senators made P3.3 billion worth of “insertions” for one province alone.
He said this was a portion of the P23 billion that some senators inserted in the Department of Public Works and Highways budget.