House to act as one in stopping threats

Photo Courtesy of House of Representatives of the Philippines

THE House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez will act as one to fight any threat or intimidation against any of its members, Majority Leader Jose Manuel Dalipe said Wednesday.

In television interviews, Dalipe was asked specifically whether the chamber will support the charge of grave threat ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro is determined to file against former President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I think the House will be united to stop all of these statements that are not really needed to be issued by any person,” he said.

“We do not want that anybody would just issue a death threat to any senator or to any congressman, or even to the president of the Philippines, vice president of the Philippines. Hindi po puwede,” he said.

Dalipe likened the utterance of an intimidating remark to making a bomb hoax at the airport, which the law prohibits.

“Parang pumupunta ka sa airport tapos sasabihin mo may dala-dala kang bomba na it’s just a joke, so the House takes that threat seriously,” he said.

The former president made the supposed threat against Castro in a TV show in Davao City.

Castro, along with her Makabayan bloc colleagues, has been very vocal in criticizing the Vice President for her request for P650 million in confidential and intelligence funds (CIFs) – P500 million for her office as VP and P150 million for the Department of Education, which she heads.

The House has realigned the P650 million, together with the CIFs of several civilian offices, to agencies that protect the country’s territorial integrity, particularly in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), and Filipino fishermen, and those involved in intelligence information collection and evaluation.

The House also allocated some funds to develop Pag-asa Island, which is located in the WPS, as a manifestation of the government’s determination to strengthen its presence in that area, which China is claiming together with most of the vital global trade route South China Sea.

The House decision to realign VP Duterte’s CIFs has apparently been resented by her father, who, in the same TV show in Davao City, criticized the chamber, of which he is a former member, and its members.

Dalipe lamented the former president’s statement, who he said received all-out support from the House of Representatives during his term.

“Marami sa amin ngayon sa 19th Congress, nanilbihan din noong 18th Congress, noong pangulo pa si President Duterte. At alam niya ang ginawa namin, sinuportahan namin siya lahat todo-todo sa lahat ng mga kailangan niya sa legislative agenda niya at noong panahon ng COVID, sinuportahan siya ng Kongreso at nagtataka kami, bakit ngayon, iba na yung tingin niya sa aming mga kongresista,” he said.

“Hindi namin siya iniwan, tiniyak namin na may sapat na budget ang Duterte adminsitration noon, noong panahon ng COVID para meron siyang pondo para mamigay ng ayuda, yung mga kailangan sa kalusugan noong panahon ng COVID, lahat sinuportahan namin siya. Kaya lang medyo nakakalungkot nga kami bakit ganito na yung mga statement niya ngayon,” he said.