House lawmakers ‘nearly came to blows’ over Armm budget-A A +A
Friday, September 27, 2013
TWO members of the House of Representatives on Friday "nearly came to blows" during deliberations of the proposed 2014 national budget.
Representatives Jonathan dela Cruz (Abakada party-list) and Jose Christopher "Kit" Belmonte (Quezon City) figured in an altercation after Dela Cruz complained of not being called to interpellate during the deliberations for the budget of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
"I asked them what's the standing of the Armm discussion, and they said it's already terminated. I asked them why. I had enlisted my name at 1 a.m. when the debates were suspended," Dela Cruz said in an interview.
Belmonte was the assigned floor leader for Friday's plenary session when the Armm budget was approved.
"Ang sagot nya 'Bakit, tinatawag mo ba akong sinungaling? Eh andito ako kanina, ako ang pinakamaaga.' Mainit yata ang ulo," Dela Cruz said, as he denied he nearly came to blows with Belmonte.
In a Twitter post of ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio, @tonchi, the lawmaker said: "Two representatives grappled with each other (literally) and nearly came to blows on the floor at start of last day of budget deliberation".
In a later post, Tinio also said: "One of the representatives involved wants me to clarify that there was a heated exchange but no 'grappling' involved."
"Walang physical, medyo mainit lang siguro kasi nagmamadali silang matapos sa budget," Dela Cruz clarified.
The Abakada party-list lawmaker said he wanted to raise questions on the budget of the Armm citing the ongoing conflict in Zamboanga City.
The chamber is expected to pass the 2014 budget Friday night. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)