Budget still has fork, says Drilon

February 09, 2019
Franklin Drilon

THE debate on the 2019 national budget could continue after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon threatened to elevate the issue to the Supreme Court due to alleged pork barrel insertions by lawmakers.

Drilon claimed that there is an “abuse of discretion” in the approval of the national budget by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“Pwede po kwestyunin sa Supreme Court. Yan po ay isang remedy na available, pwede po na may pumunta at sasabihin na ito ay bawal na naayos sa kaso na decided by the SC,” Drilon said.

The Bicameral Conference Committee on Friday approved the 2019 National Budget with a 15-5 vote.

Aside from Drilon, those who did not vote in favor of the national budget were Senators Panfilo Lacson, Kiko Pangilinan, Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros.

“Bawal na ang pork pero dito eh puno ng pork, sabi nga ni (Cong. Rolando) Andaya ay year of the pork,” Drilon said.

Drilon said that one of the arguments that can be presented in the SC is that there was not enough time to study, review and deliberate the budget.  He claimed that the senators were only given around 15 minutes to read and study the report before being passed by the bicam.

“Una binigay sa amin yung bicam report 2 p.m. pipirmahan na, mga 50 pages hindi naman puwede madaliin natin yan,” he said.

“Nakita ko ang abuse of discretion on the part of many legislators in writing their projects in the budget,” Drilon added.