By Mario Casayuran
The political opposition joined Friday the position of Senate President Vicente Sotto III against signing the proposed 2019 P3.757 trillion national budget.
The House of Representatives-ratified bicameral conference committee on the national budget ‘’has been tampered (with) by the House leadership,’’ Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party (LP), said.
‘’We will only affix our signatures on the document that faithfully reflects the voice of Congress and ratified by its members,’’ he pointed out.
Pangilinan said it was “outrageous how attempts were allegedly made to squeeze kickbacks from the budget document that has yet to leave the halls of Congress.”
‘’Kung dati ay kickback mula sa mga proyekto ang habol, ngayon, hindi pa aprubado ang budget, may mga gusto nang mag-advance ng commission sa pamamagitan ng “parking” ng mga proyekto sa iba’t ibang distrito,’’ he said. (Before, lawmakers would receive kickback from pork barrel projects. Even if the budget has not been signed at Malacanang, now there are those who want their commissions paid in advance by the simple expediency of their projects being parked at various legislative districts.)
‘’The Senate will always be on guard to protect the people’s money,’’ he stressed.
‘’For a budget for the people, we need lawmakers who are efficient and trustworthy, and are willing to debate, deliberate, and defend in plenary a pork-free budget,’’ he added.