A DISAGREEMENT between Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles and Lanao del Norte Fatima Aliah Dimaporo on Wednesday has delayed the approval of the P1.645-trillion budget for 2011.
During the budget consideration of the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) earlier this week, Deles reportedly insulted Representative Aliah Dimaporo (second district, Lanao del Norte) at the south lounge of the House of Representatives building.
Apparently irked by the incident, Representative Tupay Loong (first district, Sulu), committee chairman of Muslim affairs, and Representative Marc Cagas IV (first district, Davao del Sur) moved for a P1 budget allocation for the OPAPP for 2011.
"Colleagues, let us not allow such arrogance to happen in our House, not in our House...You come here to Congress and ask for budget for the OPAPP and yet you cannot stand to be questioned," Cagas said during early Saturday’s resumption of interpellation for OPAPP’s budget.
In a letter sent to Loong and Minority Leader Edcel Lagman, Dimaporo said that Deles confronted her in the south lounge inside the Batasan Building and offended her as if to take away her right to question the peace process.
"The overall tone was Secretary Deles was defensive, bordering hostile. At one point she raised her voice. Because I immediately felt embarrassed...I responded by telling her that she did not have to be angry and that I was simply asking questions," the letter read.
Dimaporo narrated that Deles said that the problem with Muslim legislators is that they are mostly new and don't understand how the peace process works.
The peace adviser also insinuated that the congresswoman deliberately wanted to delay the approval of the Office of the President's (OP) budget, the letter said. The OPAPP is an attached agency of the OP.
"As I was questioning her programs she had cut me off saying that she wished that before I had spoken to her that I read up on her background. She told me to read her books," Dimaporo said.
The lawmaker said she expected diplomacy from a member of the Cabinet and much more as Deles is the peace adviser of the country.
The session was suspended for almost an hour after the disagreement was brought up at the plenary session.
Deles was seen to almost approach Rep. Dimaporo but several lawmakers said that the latter refused to talk to the peace adviser. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)