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Malacanang details vetoed line items in 2019 budget

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signs the 2019 General Appropriations Act at the Malacañan Palace on April 15, 2019. (King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo)

Malacanang has released the details of the line items in the 2019 national budget that were vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

This, after the Chief Executive signed the Republic Act 11260 or the P3.757 Trillion General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 on Tuesday, April 16.

Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the President did not approve the last-minute insertions made by the House of Representatives in the national budget.

The vetoed provision of the budget are the line items under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) projects worth P95.374 billion, which Malacanang said violates the constitution.

The Palace pointed out that such projects are not in the priority program of the Duterte Administration.

“Those are the so-called insertions/ riders. They are not part of the program by the DPWH; hence, it violates the constitution. It’s violative of the constitution,” Panelo said.

Read: Andaya tells Malacañang: Bare vetoed parts in 2019 budget

Senator Panfilo Lacson has earlier disclosed that last minute realignments had been made in the budget for the benefit of several lawmakers who are allies of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Sec. Panelo reiterated what he calls as a very clear message by the President in signing the national budget.

“The message is you always follow the constitution. Any deviation from the constitution will not be approved by the President or will not be tolerated,” said Panelo.

Aside from the vetoed items, other provisions in the national budget shall be subjected to “conditional implementation in order to ensure conformity with existing laws, rules and regulations.”

Among them are the allowance and benefits of teachers and creation of teaching positions, construction of evacuation centers, funding for foreign-assisted projects, revolving fund, and lump-sum appropriations for capital outlays, as well as financial assistance to local government units and funding requirements of the country’s foreign service.  – Maris Federez (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Alias ‘Bikoy’ should prove allegations to be credible — Malacañang

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

(L-R) Vice President Leni Robredo and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (May 23) refused to give its assessment on the credibility of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy following the retraction of his previous claims.

Advincula previously confessed as the man behind a series of narco-videos entitled “Ang Totoong Narcolist” that linked President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to illegal drugs trade.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Advincula should submit first evidence that would prove his claims and allegations against the personalities he was implicating.

The Palace is leaving it up to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on what charges they will file against Advincula as consequences of his actions and for any violations of the law.

“We will have to wait for Bikoy or Advincula to substantiate his charges and after that we’ll see if there are charges to be filed in court then the truth will come out,” Panelo said.

“As I said repeatedly, no matter how you close, you cover, truth will always come out,” he added.

Malacañang, meanwhile, strongly denied the allegation of opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who claimed that alias Bikoy’s retraction was another ploy by the Duterte administration to pin down the opposition.

“In the first place the opposition has been harassing this government, this administration. they are the ones sowing intrigues as we repeatedly said,” Panelo said.

Advincula surrendered to the police and revealed that everything he said in the videos were orchestrated by the Liberal Party (LP) and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Vice President Leni Robredo in a televised conference following Advincula’s surrender said all allegations is “unfair” to the opposition party.

“Napakaraming pangalan na nasambit. Ang Liberal Party once again (ay) nahila dito sa controversy. I can speak for the party. Wala kaming kinalaman dito sa Bikoy issue,” Robredo said.

“There were so many names mentioned. The Liberal Party was once again tagged in the controversy. I can speak for the party. We have nothing to do with this Bikoy issue.)

“Unfair na isali uli ang LP dito. Kung ito ay harassment, kung ito ay ginagawang paraan para lalong yurakan o tapakan ang Liberal Party o kaming nasa oposisyon, hindi ito magiging dahilan para magpatinag tayo, para huminto tayo sa pagpupuna kung may kailangang punahin,” she concluded.

(I find it unfair to again tag LP. If this is harassment to pull down the Liberal Party or the opposition, this will not be a reason for us to stop to criticize.) (with reports from Rosalie Coz) Marje Pelayo

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No need to protest Morales’ HK incident – Malacañang

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (May 23) said there was no harassment inflicted against former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales when she was barred by immigration officials at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday (May 21).

Thus, Malacañang believes there is no reason for the Philippine government to file a protest against the Chinese state.

“Parang ang gusto yata ng iba, bumanat tayo. But you know, tinanong ko si ano, kumusta naman ang trato? Kung binastos siya o minis-treat siya, hindi pwede sa atin iyon. We will definitely protest pero hindi naman,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

(Others want us to hit back. But you know, I asked how she was treated. Was she harassed or mistreated? If that’s so, we will not allow that. We will definitely protest but that was not the case.)

Panelo’s remarks were in response to opposition senator, Risa Hontiveros who urged the government to protest against Hong Kong over the incident.

Panelo said the Palace does not want to speculate of the reason why Immigration authorities denied the former Ombudsman entry to their domain.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said that the incident might be related to the charges filed by Morales to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Chinese President Xi Jinping over territorial dispute in the South China and West Philippine Sea.

Hong Kong legislator Ted Hui Chi-Fung, meanwhile, criticized the actions of the Hong Kong Immigration personnel against Morales saying: “This incident yet again showed that Beijing has exercised control over Hong Kong’s immigration which is clearly against the Rule of Law and Hong Kong Basic Law.”

But for Malacañang, Panelo said they do not consider Morales a threat to national security nor a destabilizer.

“She is entitled to her opinion she exercises her right to freedom of expression. And we respect that, all of us,” Panelo concluded. – (with details from Rosalie Coz) Marje Pelayo

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Palace: Duterte orders immediate shipping of Canada trash at PH expense

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the immediate shipping of Canada’s tons of garbage at the government’s expense, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President is upset with the inordinate delay of Canada in taking back its containers of garbage which have been languishing in the country since 2013.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is upset about the inordinate delay of Canada in shipping back its containers of garbage. We are extremely disappointed with Canada’s neither here nor there pronouncement on the matter,” Panelo said in a press briefing at the Palace.

The President’s move came after the Department of Foreign Affairs ordered for the recall of Philippine ambassador and consuls to Canada after the Canadian government missed the May-15 deadline on shipping back the garbage it sent to the Philippines.

READ: PH recalls envoys to Canada over missed trash shipment deadline

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