CHIZ GIVES UP FINANCE
Senator Chiz Escudero today, July 29 resigned as chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Finance and as co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures to keep the upcoming budget deliberations free from politics.
Escudero tendered today his letter of resignation, with immediate effect, to Senate President Franklin Drilon.
“I believe that it behooves me to step down at this juncture to ensure that deliberations on the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) – considered the single most important piece of legislation passed by Congress each year – are untainted by suspicions or perceptions of partisan politics,” Escudero said.
“It is, Mr. President, what propriety requires; it is, I believe, what our people expect from us all: delicadeza,” the lawmaker added.
According to Escudero, public pronouncements regarding his possible candidacy for higher office dictate that he should give up the two powerful finance panels and spare the budget deliberation from possible misperception that he may use it to further his own political plans and actions.
Escudero also expressed gratitude to the Senate President for entrusting him the crucial responsibility of managing the Senate’s role in fulfilling Congress’ duty of overseeing the Executive Department’s use of public funds and ensuring that all money appropriated is guided by what is in the best interests of the people.
As a member of the majority bloc in the Senate, he reiterated his commitment to remain at the forefront of efforts to ensure the timely passage of the GAB and that categorical safeguards are in place to guarantee that it complies with the Supreme Court rulings on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
As finance panel chief, Escudero was responsible for streamlining a number of budget activities and instituting safeguard mechanisms in the national spending program to prevent abuse and misuse of public funds.
Escudero’s term as senator is until 2019./MP