A BIG lie. This was how Deputy Speaker and Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list Rep. Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva branded Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s claims that deputy speakers will receive P1.5 billion each while every congressman would be entitled to P700 million under the proposed 2020 P4.1 trillion national budget.
Villanueva also denounced Lacson’s baseless tirade against the House of Representatives as an institution.
“As far as I am concerned as deputy speaker for good governance and moral uprightness, with due respect to Sen. Lacson, his allegation of the said alleged plan to give all House deputies P1.5 billion each is a big lie,” said Villanueva, founder and leader of the Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide (JIL).
House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez also lamented Lacson’s comments.
“Nobody knows where that (allegation]) came from. I hope the senator will help us ferret out the truth by revealing his sources and other details of his information,” Romualdez told reporters during yesterday’s Ugnayan sa Batasan Majority News Forum.
“It does not have basis nor is it founded on fact,” added Romualdez as he defended the House of Representatives.
Earlier, Lacson hit the statement of Cavite Rep. Bambol Tolentino, the chairman of the House committee on accounts, who bared the P1.6 billion budget hike for the institution was intended for the benefit of the additional deputy speakers and Batasan workers, among other expenses.
Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro challenged Lacson to name the source of his “disinformation” on the alleged plan of the House leadership to give House Deputy Speakers P1.5 billion each.
Castro denounced the renewed attempt of Lacson to demonize the House with his unverified exposés, even as he reiterated his appeal to critics of the House leadership to stop spreading disinformation on the proposed P1.6 billion hike of House funds.
“Only Senator Lacson can stop himself by coming to his senses. He has not even scrutinized even one line of this general appropriations bill, he should stop giving opinion,” Castro said in the same news forum.
Castro reminded Lacson to keep in mind the principle of inter-parliamentary courtesy.
“He should remember that the House of Representatives similarly like the Senate is an institution and he should remember that he owes it to the Filipino people to, in the meantime, defer any opinion or any observation until such a time his information is verified,” Castro explained.
Castro said Lacson must verify his information and be sure it is true since any disinformation against the House and its members is grossly unfair.
“The House should be protected against disinformation either from reckless and irresponsible unverified information or deliberate but unfounded accusation. Whatever may have motivated the House detractors,” said Castro.