MANILA, Philippines - Lanao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Aliah Dimaporo has finally broken her silence on her alleged spat with Presidential peace process adviser Teresita "Ging" Deles.
Speaking during the privilege hour after the passage of the 2011 budget, Dimaporo insisted she was merely doing her job in her communications and dealings with Deles.
She said there was nothing personal in what happened and it was not a personal fight.
She also asserted that it is the responsibility of Congress to moderate the executive powers with regards to budget deliberations.
Deles’ responses, according to Dimaporo, were anything but cordial. These allegedly include insinuations that Dimaporo was delaying the budget, and that nobody was listening to Dimaporo.
She also quoted Deles as saying that the problem with Muslim legislators was that they didn't understand the budget.
Dimaporo said she is baffled at the attention to her text message to Deles where she thanked the secretary. She said she was being courteous.
She also insisted that the letter she wrote to the minority bloc on the incident between her and Deles was done so to avoid her being misquoted.
The spat between Deles and Dimaporo led to a resolution supported by lawmakers seeking Deles' ouster, which Malacañang rejected.
While the budget bill has been passed, the spat is by no means over.
Both senior Minority Leader Danilo Suarez and Deputy Speaker Boying Remulla have said it will be raised again in the Commission on Appointments.
Remulla also said the budget of Deles’ office will also be tackled again in the bicameral conference committee.
There have been calls that Deles' budget be reduced to just one peso.
For his part, Majority Leader Boyet Gonzales rejected insinuations the approval of the budget was rushed to pre-empt Dimaporo's speech.
He said it was done so because the budget bill was certified as urgent by Malacañan.