Marcos veto of Bulacan ecozone bill constitutional, says Angeles

Published July 6, 2022, 4:03 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang stood by the decision of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to veto House Bill 7575, saying the Chief Executive’s move was within the bounds of the Constitution.

Communications Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles (RTVM Screenshot)

Communications Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said this after senators expressed uncertainty if Marcos could exercise his veto on a bill that the previous Congress passed.

Last week, a day after he took his oath as the 17th Philippine President, Marcos vetoed the bill seeking to create the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport due to “defects.”

In her press briefing, Angeles said the Constitution did not indicate which President can sign a bill into law.

“The Constitution is very clear that they have no indication as to whether it’s the sitting president or the former president who can sign the bill into law,” she said.

“Since there is no distinction made in the Constitution, neither do we make such a distinction, so the President can veto. That is the stand,” she added.

The bill was passed weeks before former president Rodrigo Duterte stepped down from office.

According to Angeles, the Palace understood the legislators’ disappointment with the President’s decision but reiterated the need to fix the issues in the proposed measure.

Nevertheless, the Palace official said President Marcos would fully support the measure once the defects were fixed.

Malacañang ensured that the construction of the international airport in Bulacan is not affected by the veto and will push through as the San Miguel franchise to operate the airport was approved by both the Senate and House in October 2020.

San Miguel Corporation, one of the country’s biggest conglomerates, is investing P740 billion to turn a 2,500-hectare property in Bulacan into an aerotropolis featuring a world-class gateway airport capable of handling 100 million passengers annually, plus an adjacent urban and industrial hub.