‘Battle of the bastards’: House squabble, budget railroading irk farmers group

Condemning maneuvers that led to the railroading of the proposed 2021 national budget at the House of Representatives (HOR), the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) likened the infighting by administration allies at the chamber as a “battle of the bastards.”

Comparing developments at the HOR to an episode of the television series Game of Thrones of the same title, the KMP said the shameless squabbling of Reps. Alan Cayetano and Rep. Lord Allan Velasco over the Speakership and the multi-billion pork barrel led to railroading of the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget.

Cayetano on Tuesday, October 6, railroaded the 2nd reading of House Bill No. 7727, the proposed 2021 national budget, while his supporters moved to suspend session until November 16.

The motions were approved by Cayetano’s supporters despite objections by Representatives attending the hearings via online meeting app Zoom.

The move allows Cayetano to bypass the October 14 deadline when he is supposed to relinquish his post to rival Velasco in accordance with their so-called term-sharing agreement brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“These two Allans have no shame. They both deserve the anger and condemnation of Filipinos. They are openly engaging in a power struggle to gain control over the House and the pork barrel,” KMP said.

The farmers group said the shameless squabbling of HOR leaders denies other representatives the chance to scrutinize the proposed P4.5-trillion budget riddled with budget cuts for much needed social services while increasing funds for debt servicing, military and intelligence.

“Just to remind these two ‘bastards’, the national budget is not their personal money and Congress is not their playground. They ought to be legislating pro-people measures and reforms,” KMP said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)