Press Release
November 30, 2006

Statement of Sen. Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, on the tirade against him by Congressmen Douglas Cagas and Edwin Uy on the issue of the president's discretionary funds

Davao del Sur Rep. Douglas Cagas and Isabela Rep. Edwin Uy are well-known Malacañang "press release talking heads" and their latest public outburst against me only reflects the administration's hypersensitivity on the issue of the proper use of the President's discretionary funds contained in the proposed 2007 budget.

What the two Malacañang spokesmen cannot deny is that there are over P129 billion in the proposed P1.3 billion budget that can be used as discretionary funds by the Office of the President. The figures in the proposed General Appropriation Act of 2007 cannot lie.

I sympathize with the two Congressmen when they try to invoke the assumption of good faith on how the President would exercise discretion over these funds. However, that assumption will have to be taken against the backdrop of unanswered questions bugging this administration such as allegations of fraud in the 2004 national elections, the misuse of the so-called fertilizer fund during the campaign, and the alleged role played by certain military generals in election cheating.

I assure Congressmen Cagas and Uy, however, that the Senate Finance Committee has been working double time to finish the deliberation of the budget bill and ensure that it would be approved on time.

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