By Jun Ledesma
I often wondered why and what have we done as a nation that we are given this scourge – a Lower Chamber in Congress where political morons and hungry hyenas thrive and fight over our tax they cannot agree how much to allocate for what and for whom without thinking in single and possessive pronoun: mine.
And then we have a Vice President, Leni Robredo, who thinks that money intended for dredging heavily silted rivers that could results to flash floods and erosions, like what happened in Bicol where she resides, will just be purloined. Each time she opens her mouth she reveals what’s in her cranium.
Still another variety, Rep. Edcel Lagman, also from her region, asserts that Martial Law in Mindanao need not be extended since there is no armed rebellion in the region. How could he who has not even ventured in Mindanao, for he might be too scared, judge what is good for us Mindanaons?
And still another Bicolano, Rolando Andaya, the new Majority Floor Leader, practically sat on the proposed budget for 2019 questioning at length the alleged “insertion” by Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno thus jeopardizing the initial phase of the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes, also from the same region, is out of the country for a string of speaking engagements, so he claimed. Back home he is facing a magma of warrants yet he wants to impress us that he is in the mold of Dale Carnegie he has to speak in several international forums instead of appearing in the Philippine Courts to answer the criminal charges leveled against him. Yesterday he was in Amsterdam the next day in London, where BBC hard-hitting anchor Stephen Sackur once dubbed him “out of tune”.
Has the ash fall and sulfuric fumes from the eternally active Mayon anything to do with mindset of these characters?
The unusual delay in passing the 2019 budget is no longer funny. If “insertions” were made then why cannot they evaluate whether there is valid reasons why it should be considered.
Remember that not a few congressional districts were deprived of budgetary allocations during the term of ex-Speaker Bebot Alvarez. Congressman Andaya early on saw the huge chunk of money in the proposed budget for the districts of Alvarez, Cong. Rodolfo Farinas and of ex-Congressman now Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles.
The problem then was that the Palace had questioned what it earlier suspected as a big allocation for the district of incumbent Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo which turned out to be a pittance compared to the three.
Everything went convoluted the House of Gloria seemed to be paralyzed by its own inability to decide on the fate of the 2019 budget proposed by Malacanang.
Congress should flesh out what it suspected as questionable insertions and proceed with what the members think is fair and just.
Well, they invited Budget Sec. Ben Diokno during the budget hearing but instead of seeking answers to shed light on the budget proposal the congressmen crucified and drowned him in a hail of insults.
Failing to act on the budget would result in a standstill in government functionaries, services and implementation of salaries and wages of state employees.
The grave condition may force Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to consider options which congressmen might later regret.