P75 B inserted by Diokno, not realigned by Senate – Lacson

Published March 11, 2019, 8:46 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Mario Casayuran

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson on Monday said “there is nothing new” to claims that the Senate realigned P75 billion in the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019.

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson

“There is nothing new in what Representative (Rolando) Andaya (Jr.) said. The P75 billion he is referring to was taken up during the interpellation in the Senate. That was the amount inserted by then DBM (Department of Budget and Management) Secretary Benjamin Diokno in the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) budget, and which was slashed after the DPWH said it was not aware of it,” he said.

Lacson said the P23 billion – not P25 billion as Representative Andaya claimed – refers to the individual amendments of some senators, which he (Lacson) exposed.

“I am not aware of any single senator who has made changes to the budget, after it was approved in the bicameral conference level. If Representative Andaya can provide more details, such as the text message from a certain Ms. Salamanca, I will join him in denouncing such practice because it is not only in violation of the legislative process but in violation of the Constitution itself,” he added.