Oct 25, 2021 @ 13:06

Executive vs legislative: Ex-SC justice Brion warns of ‘destructive royal rumble’ over Pharmally probe

The executive and legislative branches of government could be headed for a “destructive royal rumble” after President Rodrigo Duterte dared the Senate to reduce the P5-trillion national budget for 2022, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion said.

In his October 25 column for the Manila Bulletin, Brion questioned whether politikos involved in the probe of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. are “acting responsibly” since Filipinos will ultimately bear the consequences of the tension between the executive and legislative branches.

Brion said Duterte’s challenge for the Senate to reduce the 2022 national budget “could raise the current developments to the level of a destructive royal rumble.”

“The Filipino people – caught in between, as usual – will bear the brunt and the pain that a neighborhood suffers in a street fight,” he said.

In an October 19 televised address, Duterte challenged the Senate to slash the 2022 national budget “by one third.” He said he would subsequently hold the release of funds from the national treasury should senators accept his dare.

Duterte issued the challenge as the Senate blue ribbon committee continues to investigate the alleged irregularities in the government’s contracts with some firms for pandemic supplies.

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