Palace denies hand in Recto resignation

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN New

Posted at Oct 16 2012 02:42 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2012 03:32 AM

MANILA - Malacañang distanced itself from the resignation of Senator Ralph Recto as chairman of the Senate ways and means committee, saying it had nothing to with it.

“[His] resignation is his own prerogative. We did not have any hand there,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said, stressing that there was no pressure from the Palace on Recto.

The Palace is hoping that Congress will pass a sin tax measure that will “address and sufficiently fund” the universal health care program of the administration.

The Palace is leaving it up to Congress to work on the timeline for the passage of the bill.

Meantime, the Palace declined to comment on the challenge of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to Presidential Legislative Liaison Office chief Manuel Mamba to substantiate reported allegations that senators had been bribed resulting in the slow passage of the sin tax measure.

Lacierda said he has yet to speak to Mamba but added that the Palace is willing to cooperate with the Senate if it calls for an investigation of the allegation.

“If there’s an investigation, we will cooperate,” Lacierda said.