There are new angles to the tiff between the House and the Duterte administration over the budget. And the new queen of the universe is from the Philippines. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:
Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez provides another angle into the battle over the budget between the current House leadership and the Duterte administration. Alvarez said the source of the row is control of the road user’s tax. According to Alvarez, the Palace and the Senate wanted to abolish the road user’s tax worth P45 billion. But allies of current House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wanted to control the funds. Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya provided a different take, saying flood control projects may be the new modus for corrupt politicians and contractors out to skim public funds. Could this revelation be true or is it just a diversion? Budget and Management Ben Diokno revealed a spike in flood control projects but attributed this to climate change.
A winning shade of Gray
It seems we can’t get enough of Ms. Universe Catriona Gray. There are more stories that we can tell about her triumph. According to reports, Gray shunned the two big beauty boot camps in the country and instead went at it on her own with a handpicked team of collaborators and friends. She is also changing the conversation about marijuana. PNP Chief Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde said that if marijuana is legalized for medical purposes, it should not be abused. Besides Gray, another compelling story on the pageant was the participation of the first transgender Angela Ponce from Spain. Former winners Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran have opinions on the issue. They will be on Headstart.
Silent on Lapena
The Senate blue ribbon committee has recommended a lifestyle check and further investigation into around 20 people tagged in the P11 billion shabu shipment that slipped past Customs in August. The report issued by the committee said nothing on former Bureau of Customs chief Isidro Lapena under whose watch the shabu shipment entered the country. Worse, PDEA chief Aaron Aquino believes the shabu has already reached Mindanao.
Sen. Ralph Recto wants to probe into the agreement with a Chinese state-owned firm for 12,000 surveillance cameras for Metro Manila and Davao City, citing security concerns. But Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Ano said there is nothing to worry about.
The DOJ has indicted gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada for estafa. In global business news, the Malaysian government filed charges against Goldman Sachs over the 1MDB controversy.