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Lacson 'apologizes' to peers for his anti-‘pork’ stance

Still firm on his stand against the existence of pork barrel in the 2017 national budget of P3.35 trillion, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson apologized to his colleagues for insisting on what he believed was right.
"I'm sorry if I put my colleagues on the spot. My advocacy against pork in whatever form, shape and design stands taller than camaraderie," Lacson said on his Twitter account.
Lacson’s Tweet came after his colleagues Senate Pres. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon assured that the 2017 budget was free from pork.
Pimentel stressed that an allocation is only regarded as pork when lawmakers intervene after the passage of the law or post-enactment.
"As a lawyer, I will limit myself to what the Supreme Court (SC) said that was is unconstitutional is the act of intervention by lawmakers so that the budget can be implemented after its passage in the law —that is the act we should guard against," Pimentel said.
"The act we should guard against is the post-enactment intervention of lawmakers so that the budget law can be fully implemented," he added.
Drilon, echoed Pimentel, noting that there was a difference beween the allocation systems then and now.
Last January 4, Lacson lamented how huge cuts in the Calamity Fund have allowed around P8 billion worth of allocations to return to the Department of Public Works and Highways in the 2017 national budget after initially being allotted for free tuition in state universities and colleges.
Lacson however promised to continue scrutinizing the misuse of public funds as soon as he gets hold of budget books.
He is also considering questioning the national budget before the Supreme Court. Pork barrel or PDAF was declared as unconstitutional by the SC in 2013.                   

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