PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte can use his veto power on the supposed 2.4-billion pork allocated for House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s district in Pampanga.
“If he (Duterte) feels that it’s a violation of the Constitution, he will do it,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told Palace reporters yesterday in his regular briefing.
Panelo was reacting to Sen Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s remarks during Senate deliberations on the proposed 3.757-trillion 2019 national budget Wednesday. Lacson said pork was inserted in the proposal that was approved on final reading in the House of Representatives.
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. has said that representatives received P60 million per district. Lacson said of this amount, 2.4 billion will fund farm-to-market roads in areas under Arroyo’s district.
Malacañang said Arroyo should explain the budget realignments that gave her that amount.
“It behooves those who are involved in the re-alignment to respond to the protest of some elements of society,” Panelo said.
He was adamant however if the re-alignments are considered pork.
“What is important to me is whether those allocations are geared for the benefit of the constituents to where they are assigned,” Panelo said.
He added there is no problem with the amount as long as provinces which may need additional expenses will not be deprived.