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THuRSDAY / FEBRUARY 7,2019

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Yesitl to Du3oto purge


budget of porl$ Sotto backs call
By Marlon Ramos lieve the congressmen would Rolando Andaya Jr., prepared
@MRamoslNQ give up. for its approval.
senators added to the prob- Both the Senate and the
It's up to President Duterte to lem, introducing Pz3 billion in House concluded tleir regular
purge his P3.8-tri[ion national i'individual amendments" to session on Wednesday and broke
budget for 2019 of pork, Sen. the budget proposal. up for athree-molth recess.
Ping Lacson said on Wednesday. Lacson said he would defer Legarda on Monday said
Lacson urged the President to Mr. Duterte's discretion on she was expecting ttle draft re-
on Tuesday to use his veto how to clean up the budget. port to be submitted to the
power to rid the budget of bil- Asked if he would submit Senate on Wednesday, in time
lions of pesos in pork that "in- to the President a list showing for ratification on Friday.
,
corrigibly insatiable" congress- the pork in the.spending bill,
men insisted on embedding in Lacson said: "They are al- Initial conference committee
the draft spending bill. ready there. The details are But Lacson said the Senate
There was no response there." had yet to receive the initial
from Mr. Duterte as of Wednes- Vicente Sotto lll Ping Lacson conference committee report
day. Passion, frustration as of 6 p.m. onwednesday.
A Senate-House conference "That's his sole authority According to Lacson, he and
committee was working against under the Constitution. It's ipino taxpayers' hard-earned why not? It should be vetoed," his colleagues were firm in
the clock to hammer out a final not for me to barge in there money will not flow into the Sotto said. their stand that they must
version ofthe budget bill whose (Malacanang) and advise him deep pockets of the corrupt "At this point, we're really closely examine the draft to
approval last year was delayed to veto lthe pork allotments]," few," Lacson said. not sure if they are pork or not. check if the questionable items
by a quarrel over pork and the he said. what we know in the senate in the proposed budget had al-
addition of P75 billion in unre- "I will not do that. But Sotto support are the institutional amend- ready been deleted before sign-
quested funds to the budget of there's really pork there. It's Senate President Vlcente ments," he said. ing the document.
the Department of Public Works up to the DBM (Department of Sotto III voiced support for Sotto said the senators 'That's my manifestation.
and Highways. Budget and Management) and Lacson's suggestion, saying the would meet on Friday to ratify . We cannot treat it as business
Malacaiang to determine," President should remove pork the final version of the confer- as usual, that we will just sign
Pr6oB for each congressman he added. from the expenditure bill if it ence committee report that the bicameral report without
Lacson discovered P16o "call it passion, exaspera- couldbe proved that the appro- Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of reading it," he said.
billion in pork for every mem- tion, frustration [and] even priations were illegal. the Senate finance committee, "We want to see filst if what
ber of the House of Represen- desperation. I'll do whatever it "If it is necessary and it's and her counterpart in the we hadr discussed was fol-
tatives, which he did uot be- takes to ensure that the Fil- clear that they're pork, then House, Camarines Sur Rep. lowed," tle added. tNq

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