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House to ‘firmly support’ Duterte veto of 2019 budget if it pushes thru — Castro

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House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro on Friday said the House of Representatives would wholeheartedly accept President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision on the 2019 budget even if it meant a reenacted budget for the whole year.

“The HoR firmly supports President Digong’s action on the GAB. Tuloy ang trabaho. Tuloy ang paglilingkod. Tuloy ang pagbabago,” he said in a statement.

“The House of Representatives, under Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s leadership, has clearly defined its legislative agenda to be always in accord with and always in full support of President Duterte’s priority bills and programs,” the Capiz lawmaker said.

“Amid downright intrigues and bizzare accusations, the HoR worked hard to enhance transparency and accountability in the 2019 GAB. This move is in sync with President Duterte’s strong and unflinching stance against corruption and wastage of public funds,” Castro said.

He was reacting to Duterte’s statement on Thursday in which he threatened to veto the entire P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019.

“Ang budget kasa-submit lang. I have to sign it pagbalik ko pa. Pinag-aralan pa galing Budget to the Office of the President,” Duterte said in a speech in Bacolod City.

“The Office of the President is not the budget, so ang legal ko magbasa uli. Ngayon pagka talagang tagilid ‘yan, I will outright veto the entire budget,” Duterte added.

He received a copy of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on March 26, after months of bickering between the Senate and House of Representatives over “pork” and last-minute amendments to the budget.

“Eh hindi magkasundo ang Congress pati ang Senado eh, pati yung mga insertions diyan titignan ko. Pagka tagilid talaga, I will not hesitate to veto the entire budget. Eh ‘di pasensya tayong lahat,” Duterte said.

The government has been operating on a reenacted budget since the start of 2019.

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