MANILA - The word war between the Senate and the House of Representatives over the P3.7-trillion 2019 national budget is far from over.
This, as Senate President Vicente Sotto III called House appropriations committee chair Rolando Andaya Jr. "delusional" after the latter alleged that senators realigned funds in the 2019 national budget in an apparent sabotage of President Rodrigo Duterte's programs.
“It's their last ditch effort to influence the President in not vetoing the illegal realignments. Hindi ba delusional 'yun? Pag bintangan kami ng budget cuts na hindi kami may gawa?" Sotto said.
(Isn't that delusional? To accuse us of making budget cuts that we didn't do?)
Andaya meanwhile explained that the changes in the spending program that he was referring to were "never" discussed with the House.
"If it was disclosed to us, then we would have outright rejected it. The bicam report, signed by the majority of senators show these deep cuts and was the basis of the enrolled bill sent to the President. No matter how I am personally perceived, this is the unfortunate truth,” he said.
Andaya earlier alleged that the Senate realigned over P83 billion in funds in the 2019 budget.
His allegations came after Sotto signed the enrolled bill on the budget with "strong reservations."
Sotto, in signing the proposed budget, asked President Duterte to veto "unconstitutional" provisions within the spending plan, including the alleged realignment of a P75-billion chunk of the proposal.
-report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News