Lacson vows to fight until his last breath alleged 'pork barrel' in 2020 appropriations bill

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 28)⁠— No amount of threat can stop Senator Panfilo Lacson from blocking the alleged 'pork barrel' allocations of members of the House of Representatives in the proposed national budget for 2020, as he vowed to fight against them until his last breath.

Patay kung patay”! Lacson said in a post on Twitter on Friday.

In the same post, he said he will remain unfazed by Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, Anakalusugan Party-list Rep Mike Defensor, and other House members who he claimed were taking turns in “maligning” him “while defending their pork.”

Asked to expound on his tweet, Lacson said that despite the allegations against him, he is prepared to fight for the national budget from ‘abusive congressmen to death.’

“If it’s about protecting the national budget from the scheming and abusive congressmen who think that by harassing me, I will cave in and stop, they’re wrong because I’m prepared to fight to the death, in a manner of speaking,” he said.

House Representatives Bienvenido “Benny” Abante, Fredenil Castro and Defensor on Wednesday demanded an apology from Lacson, who earlier claimed that the 22 House leaders will receive ₱1.5-billion each, while other congressmen will get up to ₱700 million each, citing his two “reliable sources.”

READ: Congressmen demand apology from Lacson over ‘pork’ accusations

Lacson later backtracked after Villafuerte and other House lawmakers denied that there were insertions in the proposed general appropriations act for 2020.

Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said the ongoing feud among lawmakers won’t affect the budget bill’s target passage in the upper chamber in November.

Maaga nilang (House of Representatives) ipapadala sa amin. Tapos na sila daw,” Sotto told reporters on Saturday.

[Translation: They (House of Representatives) will hand it over to us early. They said are almost done (with the deliberations).]

“The worst (scenario) is ipangako ni Senator Cayetano sakin na they’ll reach us before October 4, so by the last week of November tapos kami on second and third reading. We can go into bicam. That is the latest,” the Senate leader added.

[Translation: The worst (scenario) promised by Senator Cayetano, is that it (budget) will reach us before October 4, so by the last week of November, we’ll be done with the second and third reading. We can go into bicam. That is the latest.]

Sotto also said there’s no need for Lacson to apologize for the latter’s “pork” claims against members of the House.

It was Lacson who revealed last year that there were alleged anomalous insertions in the P3.757-trillion 2019 budget. The bickering in the Congress at the time caused a delay in the passage of the fiscal plan. The delay was blamed for the economic losses in the first quarter of this year.

The President ended up vetoing ₱95.3 billion worth of infrastructure funds.

CNN Philippines' Joyce Ilas and Alyssa Rola contributed to this report.