The president is on the warpath again and there's more fiscal maneuvering in the House of Representatives. These are the stories making the headlines on ANC:
On the warpath
The President’s tirade against the COA continued after he hit back at former COA commissioner Heidi Mendoza, saying she should not lecture him on government processes. ANC will try to get in touch with Mendoza for her thoughts and reactions to the president’s statements. Incidentally, the COA discovered the government paid a hefty P230 million to foreign creditors in fees for failure to complete Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects and programs. What could be the reason for the delay and failure to complete the projects? The COA also said the Duterte administration used only P299.7 million out of the P74.5 billion in ODA loans it got in 2017. Not very efficient. The president will be in Camp O’Donnel in Tarlac for an event. ANC will be airing his speech live. At the Palace, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque will hold a briefing. Expect him to respond to the COA’s new findings on the ODAs.
In an uncharacteristic turn, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez is going after his fellow lawmakers by revealing that some lawmakers are “parking” their funds in another lawmaker’s district. The revelation comes at the heels of the clash on the budget in the House over supposed questionable re-allocations of the DPWH budget. All these bring up memories of PDAF, pork barrel and how lawmakers are prone to take liberties with public funds. For the sake of the taxpayer’s let’s hope some sort of reasonable and logical explanation is offered.
Gold in them hills
Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan denied he allowed small-scale mining in his jurisdiction in favor of his wife’s business of buying gold. This comes as small-scale mining is under scrutiny after a landslide supposedly caused by small-scale mining buried that has left at least 22 people dead. In addition, MGB-CAR head Faye Apil said small-scale mining did not cause the landslide. Also, DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu has backtracked on his earlier pronouncement and said government will still allow small-scale mining. ANC will try to interview Cimatu on his policy change.
A day before the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, Juan Ponce Enrile will appear in an interview posted on Facebook. Would he be offering a new version of Martial Law? Also, Senators Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros also hit the DepEd for “one-sided” history textbooks supposedly glorifying the Marcos regime.