Palace not sure of ties now with House amid budget impasse
Malacanang admitted on Tuesday it was not sure anymore of its relationship with the House of Representatives amid the budget impasse.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque explained that the proposed P3.757 trillion budget for next year under a cash-based budgeting scheme was President Rodrigo Duterte's budget.
"This was not a budget submitted by Cabinet secretaries ? this is President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s budget. And if the House leadership has finally decided to reject it, they rejected President Duterte’s budget. I think it’s up to them to explain to the president why," he said.
Roque wondered why the House under the leadership of new Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been rejecting the proposed budget by insisting that the executive returns to the obligated-based budgeting and not cash-based.
"Let’s just say, with the budget being rejected by Congress, we don’t know what ties we have with the House now. We’d like to think that they continue to be important allies of the President but apparently, the change of leadership has also brought in a different kind of relationship. How else do you explain, Congress refusing to act on the President’s budget?" Roque explained.
Arroyo assumed the speakership on July 23 following the controversial ouster of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
Asked to expound regarding a different kind of relationship now with the House, Roque said, "I do not know because you know, it just so happened that there was a change in leadership and for the first time, the budget en masse was rejected in its entirety. What are we supposed to think?"
He recalled that when there was a leadership issue in the House, Duterte never got involved.
"We consider Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as an equally close ally as former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and I suppose everyone in the leadership?we suppose are equally close allies as the former leadership of the House. So it’s really for the House to explain why there is all of a sudden an outright rejection of the president’s budget. This is not the secretary’s budget. This is the president’s budget. So I think the president needs an explanation, very clear explanation on why people who may consider as his closest allies have rejected it outright," he said.
Duterte, along with Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Domignuez III, is set to meet with Arroyo and Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. in Malacanang Tuesday night. Celerina Monte/DMS