This is the dream match I waited for – Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago versus MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando.
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago is asking the Senate to slash 13 million from MMDA’s proposed 2009 budget. Sen. Santiago is suspecting that giving too much budget to MMDA will give way for Bayani Fernando to possibly use taxpayers money for his 2010 presidential bid.
I cannot help but suspect that some MMDA funds are going to the support of Mr. Fernando’s announced presidential campaign, Sen. Santiago wrote to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (December 8, 2008) as quoted by GMANews.TV news report.
Sen. Santiago also observed that Bayani Fernando is engaging a pre-mature presidential campaign as illustrated by the giant posters of Fernando that can be seen not only in Metro Manila but almost all places in the Philippines.
I suspect that Banayi Fernando is using the budget of MMDA for these posters. If he does, then he is using taxpayer’s money to advance his personal ambition. Well, Bayani should made it public who finance his posters so that we will not suspect.
Sen. Santiago is doing right. It is the responsibility of the legislators to look carefully in the proposed budget so that taxpayer’s money will not be wasted.
I am glad that Sen. Santiago is challenging Bayani Fernando and the MMDA. After all, the poster of Fernando is more visible than easing the traffic in Metro Manila. As Sen. Santiago observed, MMDA is not easing the traffic in Metro Manila and instead merely transferring chokepoints from one place to another.
I hope other Senators will see what Miriam is pointing – that the 13 million additional budget approved by the House of Representatives for MMDA is not necessary.