MANILA - House members are restive over a plan by an official to block their budget allocations for projects for their constituents, a lawmaker claimed Wednesday.
Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, an ex-officio member of the powerful House Committee on Rules, said during a plenary session that he learned someone was trying to block funds for the projects of the lower chamber's members.
“Isang paruparo ang dumapo sa akin at ang paruparong ito ay bumulong na, ayon sa kaniya, ay may isang ligaw na kaluluwa ang nagtatangka na harangin ang paglagay ng pondo sa alokasyon ng mga Congressmen," Castro said.
"Hindi lamang pagharang sa paglagay ng pondo sa aloksayon ng mga Congressmen. Mas malala pa ang binabalak ng ligaw na kaluluwa na ito,” he added, without mentioning any name.
(A butterfly perched on me and whispered that a lost soul is planning to block the allocation of funds for Congressmen. Not only is he planning to block the funds allocated for Congressmen, he's planning something worse.)
“Ayon sa paruparo, ay binabalak din ng ligaw na kaluluwa na ito na harangin ang pagpapatupad ng mga proyektong nakahilera na dalhin bilang pasalubong ng mga kinatawan ng buong bansang Pilipinas sa kanilang nasasakupan o sa mga mamamayang Pilipino. Hindi ko alam kung bakit may nagtatangka na harangin ang alokasyon ng mga kinatawan ng Mababang Kapulungan."
(According to the butterfly, this lost soul is also planning to block the implementation of projects lined up for the Congressmen of the Philippines, which is intended for their constituents and the Filipino people. I don't know why someone is trying to block the allocations to the lower chamber.)
Castro went on to say that his colleagues already knew of the plot.
“Hindi ko nalalaman na ang ibinulong pala ng paruparong ito ay pinaguusapan na rin ng mga kasamahan ko sa loob ng bulwagang ito. Hindi ko alam na may pinaplano na isiwalat kung sino ang ligaw na kaluluwang ito,” he said.
(I didn't know that the whispers of this butterfly were also being talked about by my colleagues in this chamber. I didn't know they were already planning to reveal who this lost soul is.)
Castro, the Majority Leader of the preceding Congress, said he prevailed upon House members not to act yet on the supposed plan to block their funds.
“Ako ay nangibabaw sa mga kasamahan ko sa loob ng bulwagang ito. Sila ay nakinig sa akin na sila ay huwag magpadala sa silakbo ng damdamin, sapagkat di pa natin napupuruhan sino ang kaluluwang ito,” he said.
(I prevailed upon my colleagues in this chamber. They listened to my advice not to be carried away by their emotion since we haven't yet confirmed who this soul is.)
Earlier, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that some lawmakers, without dropping a name, were trying to realign P80 billion for themselves from the 2020 national budget, particularly from the government's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.
“Unmitigated gall. This best describes some lawmakers who tried to realign at least P80 billion from the administration’s 'Build, Build, Build' flagship program to their districts’ 'pet projects' under the 2020 national budget," he said in a statement.
In September 2019, Lacson also said the 2020 national budget proposed by the House had insertions of discretionary funds or pork barrel, with P700 million in allocations under the proposed P4.1-trillion budget.
Castro was one of the House members who demanded an apology from Lacson for his allegations.