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The ANC Brief: Bickering over the budget

Lawmakers want the president to boot out Benjamin Diokno from the Cabinet. And while the congressmen and the Palace bicker over the budget, the extension of martial law in Mindanao sails through Congress. These are just some of the stories ANC will be covering today:

Diokno’s dilemma
Congressmen want Benjamin Diokno out of the Cabinet after questions arose on alleged insertions in the 2019 proposed budget worth P75 billion. But the Palace said they still back Diokno. The embattled Budget and Management secretary also said it wasn’t his job to pick contractors. It’s the job of implementing agencies actually. Rep. Rolando Andaya said the House would press their close examination of the budget. The Senate will deliberate on the budget today.

Priorities, priorities
While the budget flounders in Congress, the extension of martial law in Mindanao gets the green and go. This really shows Congress’ priorities. Reps. Lito Atienza and France Castro will be on Headstart to talk about the vote in the House that approved the extension martial law.

Setting the bar
In a speech in Las Pinas Tuesday, President Duterte said he is willing to waive requirements for hiring government officials as long as they are competent and honest. The president is due in Las Pinas for a 3 p.m. event and the birthday of his ally former Sen. Manny Villar. 

Drug charges
The PDEA is due to file today cases against those involved in the shabu shipment packed in magnetic lifters that slipped past Customs. Who are the personalities to be charged? Is former Customs chief Isidro Lapena one of them? ANC will be ready to report the latest on this.

In defense of an ally
A new SWS survey said 3 in 5 Filipinos believe the US’ defense commitment to the Philippines is strong. Does this mean the US will defend the Philippines in case the dispute with China over the South China Sea gets worse? ANC will have officials of the SWS to talk about the results of this new survey.