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Drilon blasts Pernia for saying Congress is clueless on tax matters: Yabang mo ah!

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has slammed National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Chair Ernesto Pernia for looking down on lawmakers on the issue of taxation.

Drilon on Wednesday (May 31) said that while lawmakers are no experts on the matter, they are not exactly ignorant about it.

“We do not claim expertise but certainly we know something about the budget and if Pernia’s statement is accurate, I find that a little arrogant. Ang yabang naman niya! Labingsyam na taon ko ng tinitingnan ang budget eh, hanggang wala pa akong natutunan?” he fumed.

“Hindi naman siguro. Sinabi nya ba ‘yan? Eh ‘di sabihin mo, such arrogance!” Drilon added.

Pernia commented on lawmakers’ competence in light of the pending comprehensive tax reform bill in Congress, which has been tagged as an urgent measure of the administration.

In slamming Pernia, Drilon found an ally in Senator Cynthia Villar, who also spoke on the issue in the plenary.

“I was a businesswoman before I went to the Senate and now that I am a legislator and protector of the poor, when you’re an economic manager, you just study the studies, the figure. But you never put a face in the figures. That’s what we can do as legislators. We see the face in the figures. We have a different point of view altogether,” Villar said.

“I agree. Medyo mayabang lang ang dating ano?” Drilon commented.

While the economic managers may claim expertise on fiscal matters, Villar said “it doesn’t mean that we’re wrong and they’re right.”

“It’s just a point of view and that we have to tolerate and do what we think is right and good,” she said.

Drilon, in further addressing the issue with Pernia, practically reminded the NEDA chief that lawmakers are elected by the people and are expected to reflect the public’s welfare whenever they express opinions on matters that concern the general public.

“Pernia would not have the monopoly of wisdom, I must say,” he said.

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