Frankly, the official statement of Malacanang about the 2019 budget delay by Congress got me frustrated at Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Majority floorleader Rolando Andaya Jr.
Imagine this: "Congress must not shirk from its constitutional duty to approve the General Appropriation Bill. The Executive has submitted the proposed general budget on the very day that the President delivered his State of Nation of Address, twenty nine (29) days earlier than the maximum period required by the Constitution, precisely to give Congress the ample time to review it and make amendments thereto. Further unreasonable delay on the part of Congress to approve the General Appropriation Bill that will throw a monkey wrench on the program of the administration will be unacceptable to the sovereign people that place them in office."
It only means one thing: the executive branch did their job to prepare a budget, yet Congress dragged its feet. Andaya`s tirades in Naga against Budget Secretary Diokno are meant to cast a cloud and create a delay in the approval of this important budget. Worse, accusations of pork barrel insertions by him and speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo do not seem to go away.
The big question is: what is Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo`s hand in all of this? If her favorite political lieutenant Andaya is making such noise, and her Congressional (and political) mandate has been watered down by the failure to pass a budget, should she be partly to blame? Yes.