QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The sudden suspension of the budget hearing in the Lower House of Congress for the proposed 2019 National Budget raised questions from Malacañang on the kind of relationship that the Executive branch has with the Legislative body.
This, despite having the Lower House’s “super-majority” or the large number of solons allied with the Duterte administration.
Though Malacañang stressed it is not blaming anyone, the Palace admitted it has yet to hear anything about the issue from House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Let’s just say with the budget being rejected by Congress, we don’t know what ties we have with the House now. We’d like to think that they continue to be important allies of the President, but apparently the change of leadership has also brought in a different kind of relationship,” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
For now, the Palace regards this as a simple misunderstanding. Still, it would let the Congress explain about the issue.
But Roque said President Duterte does not believe Congress will reject the proposed national budget.
“As of now, I think he’s giving the Congress the benefit of the doubt. He does not actually want to accept that for the first time, Congress does not want to enact on his budget,” the Spokesperson added.
Malacañang is also firm on the use of cash-based budgeting system for next year.
However, if Congress rejects the proposal, the government will be compelled to have a re-enacted budget for 2019.
Under the cash-based budgeting system, government agencies will only propose projects to be funded and implemented within the fiscal year.
The Congress has earlier expressed concerns that under this system, the “Build, Build, Build Program” of the Duterte administration will suffer, though the economic managers have said otherwise. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo
Malacañang: Imelda Marcos’ conviction reflects working, impartial justice system in PH
FILE PHOTO: Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday (November 9) noted that the conviction of former First Lady now Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos is a reflection of a “working and impartial justice system” in the country.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also stressed that “the Executive Branch is not in the business of exerting undue interference or influence in the affairs of another separate and independent branch of the government.”
Panelo said the administration respects the Sandiganbayan’s decision and “treat this decision by the anti-graft court as a good reminder to all public servants that public office is a public trust and that we are all accountable to the people we serve.”
“As servants of the people, we must therefore carry out our duties not only with professionalism and fidelity but most importantly, with integrity,” Panelo reminded his colleagues in government service. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
Malacañang: No violation of JASIG in Ladlad’s arrest
NDF consultant Vicente Ladlad
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (November 8 maintained that the arrest of NDF consultant Vicente Ladlad was in no way a violation of the provisions of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo stressed that JASIG is not enforced at this time because the peace process between the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has already been terminated.
This means also, according to Panelo, that a warrant of arrest is not needed to arrest Ladlad.
“The JASIG is operative only if there are peace talks ongoing; but that has been terminated by the proclamation of the President on November 23, 2017. Secondly, the crime of rebellion is a continuing crime and therefore no warrant of arrest is needed for that,” the Presidential Spokesperson said.
President Rodrigo Duterte decided to terminate the peace talks in November last year through Proclamation 360 because of the rebels’ failure to display sincerity to the peace process by continuously attacking government troops despite the negotiations. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
Duterte’s strong political will paved the way for third telco’s entry – Palace
FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte | PVI/Cerilo Ebrano
MANILA, Philippines —Malacañang welcomed the entry of Mislatel Consortium as the provisional telecommunications player of the country.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the public “have long waited for a reliable, efficient, and inexpensive telecommunications service.”
He said that the strong political will of President Rodrigo Duterte paved the way for the entry of a new major telco player that is expected to provide a genuine competition and effective service for the Filipino people. — UNTV News & Rescue