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Alejano: Alvarez not joking on zero-budget threat

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Magdalo partylist Rep. Gary Alejano is not convinced by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’ clarification that his threat to give zero budget to critics of Charter change is just a joke.

“Contrary to Alvarez’s clarification, I do not believe his remarks are merely jokes. As we have seen, members of the opposition and even some from the majority have already been denied of budget allocation for our constituents,” he said.

Alejano is a member of the Magnificent 7 opposition bloc, whose members were denied infrastructure funds for their districts or constituencies in the 2018 budget.

Last week, in a speech before Iloilo officials, Alvarez threatened to give zero budget to provinces that would not support Charter change and the federalism move.

But on Monday, he clarified his remarks were just “empty words.”

Alejano said, “Unang-una, ang mga opisyales sa gobyerno, lalo pa at Speaker ng Mababang Kapulugan, ay hindi dapat nagbibiro sa mga mahahalaga at sensitibong usapin.”

“Empty words” especially on issues such as the charter change and federalism, he said, “should not be thrown carelessly.”

“The politicians and the public would naturally feel threatened on the remarks of Speaker Alvarez because budget allocation is of prime importance,” Alejano said.

“Such threats take the focus and discussion away from the contents and wisdom of charter change. Hindi dapat pananakot ang ginagamit upang umani ng suporta kundi ang nilalaman ng mga mungkahi para sa pagpapalit ng anyo ng gobyerno,” he added.