PCOO budget deferred until Badoy issues 'unconditional apology': House leader

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2020 08:31 AM | Updated as of Sep 30 2020 09:21 AM

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MANILA - The House of Representatives has put off discussions on the budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office until Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy issues an "unconditional apology" to lawmakers she linked to the New People's Army, the chamber's minority leader said Wednesday.

The budget committee earlier suspended proceedings for the PCOO after the Makabayan bloc accused Badoy of red-tagging.

Badoy had said she would issue an apology if Makabayan bloc lawmakers issue a statement denouncing communist rebels.

"An apology is not an apology if it comes with strings attached. The setting of conditions in our view just shows she’s insincere regarding her apology," House minority leader Bienvenido Abante told ANC.

"It’s not appropriate for any government official to say that to any sitting congressman. To be able to accuse members of the House of being a terrorist is an issue that involves the whole House."

The House, meantime, does not have any "spare time" to conduct an inquiry into Facebook's takedown of accounts linked to the military and policy, Bienvenido said.

"Ang focus talaga namin dito (Our focus here) is the 2021 budget. We really would like to craft a budget that would help the country respond to the pandemic and bounce back from the economic aftershock of the virus," he said.

"Unahin muna natin ang budget pagkatapos pagusapan iyong ganito. I don’t think we have spare time to conduct inquiry on this matter."

(Let's prioritize the budget then we can talk about this.)