President Duterte tells House members to resolve squabble, pass national budget

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte called on the members of the House of Representatives Thursday to resolve their leadership stalemate and pass the 2021 national budget as he reminded them of their duty of ensuring public welfare.

“Gusto ko lang sabihin in one straight statement: Either you resolve the issue sa impasse ninyo diyan and pass the budget legally and constitutionally, ‘pag hindi ninyo ginawa, ako ang gagawa para sa inyo,” President Duterte said in a televised address.

“Hindi ako nananakot, wala akong ambisyon manakot, wala rin akong ambisyon na tatagal dito sa puwestong p****** i**** ‘to na puro problema. Wala akong hangarin. Basta sinasabi ko lang, if you do not solve the problem, then I will solve the problem for you.”

“Mamili kayo, either we have a — the positive development na maligayahan iyong tao, iyong amo natin palagi naka sa huli iyan. Mamaya na iyang amo natin, mamamatay na muna iyan o mabubuhay iyan, medisina lang iyan, tapos nakakalimutan natin. We always forget that there is something more higher than just delaying or maneuvering in Congress because everybody wants to be Speaker,” he added.

The President said he will not give lawmakers a timeline adding, however, that if he sees there will be delay in the approval of the budget that will derail government service, he will do something that he didn’t specify.

He also reminded those in government, especially elected officials, that their major obligation should be ensuring people’s welfare and protecting their interest.

“Gusto kong makipag-usap sa inyo lahat tayong lahat ng opisyal, not necessarily with the congressmen and senators, lahat tayo na ang gusto naman natin talaga magsilbi nang husto,” he said.

“Now, whether it is really the work of a few men in Congress or in the Cabinet or in the other agencies ng ating gobyerno, ang gusto natin ‘yung tama lang.”

House members went on recess early this week after approving the appropriation bill in the second reading.

They are expected to resume session after a month-long break. Because of the early suspension, the House version of the budget bill will not reach the Senate before it goes on recess on October 17.

The squabble between House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco has held the budget hostage with many lawmakers expressing concern that it will not be passed on time.

The two lawmakers agreed last year to a term-sharing agreement brokered by the President. (PND)