Duterte to veto ‘unconstitutional’ provisions in 2020 budget

The governance of the President is based on his constitutional duty to serve and protect the Filipino people, according to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo. tags: New York Times editorial, Salvador Panelo, deadliest place for land defenders

President Rodrigo Duterte will veto the proposed PHP4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 if he thinks it violates the Constitution, Malacañang said.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made this assurance after Albay Rep. Joey Salceda bared that each lawmaker at the House of Representatives will be receiving PHP100 million under the proposed 2020 national budget.

“Alam mo naman pag kailangan mag-veto, bini-veto ni Pangulo ‘yan, lalo na pag tingin niya (You know the President if he needs to veto it, he will. Especially if he thinks) it’s unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful,” Nograles said in a media interview on Friday.

Duterte has certified as urgent the proposed PHP4.1-trillion national budget for 2020.

In a letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano dated Sept. 17, Duterte urged both leaders to consider the “immediate enactment” of House Bill 4228 or the General Appropriation Bill (GAB) for Fiscal Year 2020.

Nograles, meanwhile, said Duterte won’t hesitate to use his veto powers as he did when he vetoed the 2019 national budget.

In his veto message on the 2019 budget, Duterte said he would “not tolerate any attempts to circumvent the Constitution.”

“Consistent with the foregoing aspirations and in the faithful exercise of my Office and due fidelity to my oath, I will not tolerate attempts to circumvent the Constitution or any other action that will prejudice the Filipino people whom I serve,” Duterte said in his 13-page veto message.

Duterte vetoed PHP95.3 billion items of appropriations under the budget because they were “not within programmed priorities.”

He also vetoed 12 provisions under the general and specific provisions.