'That's life': Alvarez defends move to scrap opposition solons' projects

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2017 02:35 AM

"That's life."

That is how House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez responded to claims that he caused the deletion of projects proposed by some lawmakers in the 2018 budget.

Alvarez told ABS-CBN News that he had to make sure that his allies allocations and needs were addressed.

He claimed this was a practice done by previous administrations. 

Alvarez said the only difference now is that he was "more transparent" about it while previous administrations kept the allocations of critics in the budget but did not release funds.

He said not all 24 lawmakers named in a list that circulated among House media lost their projects for their districts. 

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman earlier said Alvarez ordered the removal of projects in the constituencies of "critical" and "wayward" lawmakers from the 2018 national budget due to "vengeance."

"Vengeance plus caprice equal zero allocations for authentic opposition representatives and other targeted legislators in the House of Representatives," he said. 

Among the allegedly scrapped projects were roads and bridges leading to tourist destinations; diversion roads to de-congest traffic; dikes and seawalls; and public buildings. 

Majority of these are included in the 2018 National Infrastructure Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the "Build, Build, Build" scheme, he said.