Over the past days, quite a number of lawmakers have called me as they expressed their disappointment and consternation over the fate of their respective allocations and budgets from the hands of the current House leadership.
Although I am an ex officio member being a Deputy Speaker, I have respectfully and clearly told them that their concern is something that I would rather stay away from — out of delicadeza because my father is the President.
Most of these concerns shrouded doubts over the process and mistrust of the lawmakers ruling the House, those who are acting as if they are bigger than their colleagues. Respectfully, I told them that I did not want to get involved.
The text message that I sent to another lawmaker — and is now making the rounds — was an expression of my personal dismay upon hearing the concerns of my fellow lawmakers.
It was the same message that I sent after one Congressman from the Visayas bloc dragged my name into the issue even after I have already strongly made myself clear over this issue.
Now as Congress continues to be hounded by the issue of budget — something that finds its way up to the current House leadership, how it treats its members, how it approves allocations and budgets with fairness or lack of it — let me reiterate my position. I do not want to get involved, however, I wish to help my fellow lawmakers find answers to their questions or remedies to the budget that they proposed for their people.
I could only hope that Congress and its members will be able to resolve this issue before everything goes out of hand, before it could bludgeon the credibility of the institutions and inflict damage beyond repair.
I leave this issue to the members of Congress as I believe that it is within their rights as elected officials to come up with a favorable solution to an issue that could badly impact the development of their districts and their people.
As a collective body, the members of Congress have the power to change the course of which the leadership is leading them to and address a problem to ensure that the programs and projects for their people are delivered and delivered expeditiously.
The members of Congress have the power to correct everything that they perceive as wrong happening within the Lower House or change leadership as they demand fair treatment and reforms.
If the members of Congress will push for a change in House leadership, as a reaction to their sentiments, obviously I would be among the casualties because I am a deputy speaker. I am ready to accept the consequences.
As much as I am part of Congress with a duty to be involved in the goings on inside, I cannot discount the fact that I am a Duterte. Anything that comes out of my actions or mouth could be construed or manipulated as having the blessing of my father.
And so I would rather suffer or work in silence rather than sacrifice the supposed independence of the House from the Palace.
Let us work for the country and the Filipino people.