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Palace lauds Senate move on ’08 budget

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:13:00 09/29/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has welcomed the decision by Senators to publish all amendments made by their colleagues in the 2008 budget, saying this will ensure “transparency and accountability.”

But at the same time, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Gabriel Claudio cautioned lawmakers that the investigation against the alleged insertions in the budget could derail their legislative work.

“The decision of the Senate committee on finance to publish all amendments made by Senators in the 2008 budget is laudable since we expect such disclosure to serve the ends of transparency and accountability in the budget process,” Claudio said in a statement Monday.

Claudio said the Palace “has no intentions whatsoever of benefiting politically” from the squabble among senators, led by Senate President Manuel “Manny” Villar on one side, and Senator Panfilo Lacson on the other.

“However, we do wish that as the Senate proceeds to confront and resolve this matter, the urgent agenda of legislation for social and economic upliftment of our country is not sidelined or impaired,” he said.

Claudio said allegations that the Palace was siding with Villar were “without basis.”

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo issued a similar statement, saying, “The issue is for the Senate to resolve. The Palace does not favor anyone, especially on this matter.”

“We strongly urge [the] Senate to consolidate its efforts into performing its most important duties and functions,” she said.

Lacson had accused Villar of benefiting from the P200-million double entry in the 2008 budget for the C-5 road extension project.

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Written by joelguinto

MonUTC2008-09-29T06:43:43+00:00UTC09bUTCMon, 29 Sep 2008 06:43:43 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am09

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