Sen. Panfilo Lacson maintained Thursday there can be no presumption of regularity in P20-billion amendments made by a so-called small group to the House version of the 2021 budget bill.
Lacson said the small group’s amendments came after the House approved its version of the budget bill on third and final reading last Oct. 16.
“That is unconstitutional. To say there’s presumption of regularity, I think it’s misplaced. If that is the output of the small committee and they will include these amendments in the USB drive they will transmit to us on Oct 28, then we cannot presume regularity, with all due respect to my Senate President. Because if it is based on an unconstitutional act, I cannot presume regularity,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
He added this is not a matter of recognizing or accepting whatever amendments the House will send to the Senate.
On the other hand, Lacson said the budget process has not been completed at this time, adding this can be “cured” by the Senate version and eventually the bicameral conference committee meetings.
“Hindi pa pwedeng i-declare unconstitutional ang 2021 GAA kasi wala pa naman tayong naipapasang batas. What I am only saying is that very clear ang Constitution on both Houses for that matter, sa Senate we strictly adhere to that provision basta maipasa namin on 3rd reading wala na,” he said.