Duterte's remarks aimed at ensuring 2019 budget is legal: Panelo
Malacanang on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte is only making sure that the 2019 General Appropriations Budget will not violate the constitution.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after Duterte threatened to veto the entire budget if he found any irregularities.
“The remarks of the President during the PDP-Laban Bacolod City campaign rally that he may veto the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for 2019 contemplate a situation where if there is a finding by him of any legal or constitutional infirmity relative to the provisions of the same transmitted to his office by Congress then he will exercise his veto powers either in part or in toto,” said Panelo.
He said the Office of the President is exercising utmost care in the review and evaluation of the GAB after serious accusations hurled by the House and the Senate against each other on certain unconstitutional insertions.
“It is poring over the details of the document and checking which items therein may be constitutionally infirm or legally unacceptable pursuant to the President’s power and duty to ensure that the law is enforced and the Constitution is free from any violation,” he said.
Duterte is making sure that before he inks his signature to the document, the latter does not violate the Constitution, as well as related jurisprudence on the matter, said Panelo.
As to the possible repercussion on working under a re-enacted budget, Panelo said the country’s economic managers have contingency plans prepared, responsive to any conceivable event and they will adjust their targets, which include execution of programs and projects relating to infrastructure as well as delivery of basic services to the people.
“While we are very eager and devoted to implement policies that will benefit Filipinos, this Administration is equally committed to being a stickler for the rule of law,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS