Lacson says proposed 2020 budget still tainted with pork barrel
Robie de Guzman • December 11, 2019 • 1453
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday said the proposed 2020 national budget signed by the congressional bicameral conference committee is still tainted with pork barrel.
In a statement, Lacson noted that “bad habits are indeed hard to break,” as he revealed some of the budget insertions allegedly made by the House of Representatives before the bicameral conference committee approved the report on the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020.
“It is revolting to note that legislators keep on dipping their dirty fingers on our national budget in spite of pending cases involving the same issue,” he said.
The senator said he did not attend the signing of the report on the budget bill which was held during a meeting at a hotel in Makati City.
He mentioned that one reason why he skipped the meeting was because his office received a USB containing two files – the “Source” file and the “List” file – from the Lower House on Tuesday night.
“Our preliminary scrutiny of the last-minute insertions made by the House would indicate that the Source File is the list of 1,253 budget items worth P83.219B that was apparently used as the congressmen’s ‘source’ of their ‘list’ of 742 projects worth P16.345B that were inserted in the bicam report that was signed by both panels this morning,” he said.
“Since there is no preliminary explanation from the House regarding the two files, we cannot ascertain if indeed only P16.345B or the bigger amount of P83.219B was inserted at the last minute prior to the bicam signing,” he added.
He continued with: “What is clear, though, is that there are still lump sums and vaguely described projects that are now part of the bicam report.”
Lacson said that their initial check of the files showed that the top provinces with huge allocations include:
Albay – P670M
Cavite – P580M
Sorsogon – P570M
Batangas – P502M
Bulacan – P440M
Pangasinan – P420M
Cebu – P410M
He also claimed that 117 flood control projects worth P3.179-billion dominated the insertions, “with eight projects uniformly budgeted at P60 million each.”
“There are more corruption-driven insertions in the Files sent to us that I have not mentioned. Thus, we will continue to diligently scrutinize it and inform the DBM and the Office of the President as I have high hopes that President Rodrigo Duterte will again display his aversion to corruption,” he added.
“Pork is here to stay. I hope the President will again exercise his political will in vetoing line items that will obviously waste people’s tax money,” he further stated.
MANILA, Philippines — Senators Panfilo Lacson and Sherwin Gatchalian have tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a Twitter post on Friday, Lacson confirmed that he has contracted the virulent virus after undergoing the test on January 4.
He said he has informed all his close contacts since January 3 about his condition and advised them to take the necessary precaution.
“Immediately informed all my Jan 3 physical contacts of my Jan 4 COVID-positive test result which was released only last night, Jan 6 so they can take extra precautions to protect their loved ones and others. Thank God no one is exhibiting symptoms. Wearing our masks helped much,” Lacson said.
Immediately informed all my Jan 3 physical contacts of my Jan 4 Covid-positive test result which was released only last night, Jan 6 so they can take extra precautions to protect their loved ones and others. Thank God no one is exhibiting symptoms. Wearing our masks helped much.
Meanwhile, Gatchalian announced his COVID-19 positive result in a Viber message to Senate reporters.
Gatchalian said he tested positive Friday but only experienced mild symptoms.
The senator assured that he is following strict health protocols by self-quarantining away from family members, friends, and the public.
He also appealed to the public to get vaccinated and boosted.
“This is to inform the public that I tested positive for COVID-19 today. Following strict health protocols, I went on self-quarantine away from family, friends, and the public,” he said.
“So far, I am only experiencing mild symptoms from the virus and this goes to show that the vaccines are effective and working against it. I enjoin everyone to get your booster shots right away,” he added. —/mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – The tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III has bared the list of senatorial candidates they will be endorsing in the 2022 national and local elections.
The list includes the following senatorial bets:
Antique Rep. Loren Legarda
Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
Senator Migs Zubiri
Senator Joel Villanueva
Senator Richard Gordon
Former Vice President Jejomar Binay
Former DICT Secretary Gringo Honasan
Former Senator JV Ejercito
Former QC Mayor Herbert Bautista
Former DA Secretary Manny Piñol
Monsour del Rosario
Sotto said the senatorial candidates included in their list are the ones who “deserve to be in the Senate.”
They will also endorse a “surprise candidate.”
“Tulungan niyo po kami sa pagtaguyod sa kandidatura ng ating mga kaibigan. Nakakasiguro po kami na malaki ang maitutulong ng ating mga kandidato sa ating bansa, sa ating mga kababayan, at sa Senado,” Sotto said.
Lacson and Sotto are seeking the presidency and vice presidency, respectively, in the next year’s polls.
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday filed their certificates of candidacies (COC) to run for president and vice president, respectively, in the 2022 national elections.
Lacson and Sotto filed their COCs past 11 a.m.
This is Lacson’s second try at seeking the presidential post after a failed bid nearly two decades ago.
Should they win the election next year, the lawmakers said they will intensify efforts against corruption and illegal drugs and ensure proper balance in the use of national budget.
“Kung ipagkakaloob ng Dios na ang Lacson-Sotto tandem ang mapipiling mamuno isang disiplanong burukrasya ang paiiralin, kabilang na ang maayos na paggastos ng pambansang budget upang makaabot ang biyaya at kaunlaran sa mga liblib na lugar ng bansa,” Lacson said during a short interview with the media after their COC filing.
“If we hold the reigns of the executive department we will able to execute it well. We know the ails, we know the solutions, balance the budget, budget reform, reign the money to the people, enhance the fight in illegal drugs by more emphasis on demand with reduction strategy,” Sotto said.
Lacson is running under the Demokratikong Reporma Party while Sotto is under the Nationalist People’s Coalition. Both lawmakers sit as chairmen of their respective parties.
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