House Minority Leader and 4Ps Party-list Rep. Nonoy Libanan gave the ultimate compliment to the majority bloc during his "turno en contra" in the plenary debates on the P5.268-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB).
In his speech on Wednesday night, Sept. 28 just before the passage of the GAB, Libanan acknowledged that the majority congressmen had the numbers to approve the budget measure "like a rampaging freight train", but chose not to.
"Let me commend the majority, for despite its numerical superiority, it did not behave like a rampaging freight train barreling its way through the railroad of law making," he said.
The House of Representatives in the current 19th Congress is headed by Speaker and Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez. Meanwhile, Zamboanga City 2nd district Rep. Mannix Dalipe serves as the majority leader.
In the 311-strong lower chamber, only 25 are identified with the Libanan-led minority.
The turno en contra is a traditional speech that the House minority leader delivers at the very end of the budget deliberations.
"We shall help define the institutional maturity of this House—where arguments should be won by rhyme and reason rather than by the sheer force of numbers. We shall help define the professionalism of this House—where the soundness of one’s argument is tested by rationalism, rather than by emotionalism," Libanan said.
"Let not our partisanship in this chamber hinder us; instead, let the expectation of our constituencies unite us. This representation believes we were par for the course—or even much better," he added.
The 4Ps solon also had good things to say about his minority bloc colleagues based on their efforts during the five-week budget process.
"And let me commend our members in the minority for responsibly scrutinizing the budget with rational rather than emotional metrics, even while ensuring that their bucket lists for the benefit of their constituencies were addressed as well.
"After all, as former US Speaker Tip O’Neil said: 'All politics is local!' It is true in other countries; it is our reality as well," Libanan said.
The 2023 GAB was approved on third and final reading via nominal voting result of 289-3-0 (yes-no-abstain) on Wednesday night.