Having been president for nine years, Arroyo said she respects Duterte despite his veto of the realignments by the House of Representatives.
KJ Rosales/File
GMA respects Duterte’s veto of ‘pork’ realignments
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - April 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not picking a fight with President Duterte, who declared that he had vetoed P95.3 billion realigned by congressmen in the 2019 national budget because he considered the insertions “unconstitutional” and he abhorred corruption.

Having been president for nine years, Arroyo said she respects Duterte despite his veto of the realignments by the House of Representatives. 

“It’s done and we trust the President’s judgment. Even me, I used to line veto. Every year, I partially vetoed the budget,” Arroyo said, referring to portions that Duterte vetoed in the P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019. 

Republic Act 11260, or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 that Duterte signed last April 15, saw some vetoed appropriations under several agencies of the national government. 

These included the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Labor and Employment-National Labor Relations Commission, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Department of Trade and Industry.

Arroyo was president for nine years from January 2001 to June 2010 and was elected congresswoman in the same year. This is her third and last term as representative of Pampanga’s second district, a post that will be taken over by her eldest son Mikey. 

Another official of the House of Representatives, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. who heads the House appropriations committee, also welcomed the presidential veto.

“We respect the decision of President Duterte on the 2019 national budget. The President knows what is best for the country and our people,” Andaya said.

He reiterated the Arroyo leadership still led the swift passage of the priority measures of Duterte in the House, including the national budget that will pass the constitutionality test.

“In support of President Duterte’s legislative agenda, the House of Representatives has approved all of the President’s priority bills in record time,” said Andaya, a former budget secretary.

“We eventually passed a national budget that will pass the test of constitutionality and legality, but also of transparency and accountability. All appropriations for government programs and projects are itemized, in full compliance with the laws of the land and recent Supreme Court decisions,” he said. 

A lawmaker who felt vindicated by the presidential veto, Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, said the House leadership should get its act together to show that the chamber is truly supportive of Duterte’s anti-corruption campaign and inclusive development agenda.

“In his veto message the President made it clear that the national budget must be well spent and used to improve the people’s welfare,” Villafuerte said.

“He also made it clear that he will not tolerate corruption in his administration and that our positions in government should not be used for personal gain. What part of this message did Andaya did not understand? 

“The President’s line veto of P95 billion worth of illegal insertions in the General Appropriations Bill was already a slap in the face for the House leadership,” he said.  

2019 NATIONAL BUDGET GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
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