MANILA, The Philippines — A grand Christmas party on Wednesday, December 14, concluded the last session of the 17th Congress in celebration for the most productive legislative year in history.
A congressman who humbly refused to be named said, “This is unprecedented in the history of Philippine legislation. I am proud of what we have accomplished because this is where the people’s taxes go.”
President Rodrigo Duterte extended his congratulatory gesture to his best buddy and the Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez. “I commend your achievements in the House especially because you made them in the first 6 months of my administration. No Congress in Philippine history has achieved such a feat,” the president said.
Earlier the 17th Congress under the leadership of Alvarez had passed into law the most important legislation that became the hallmark of the government’s legislative agenda, the Republic Act 10923 known as the Postponement of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections from 31 October 2016 to 21 October 2017.
“With the only bill you passed into law and another one waiting for my signature, I would like to say thank you. The people deserve you as their representatives,” Duterte added.
The bill waiting to be signed into law that the president mentioned was the proposed 3.35 trillion-peso budget for the year 2017. It was so close to becoming a law but it had to wait until the Christmas break is over pending Senate ratification.
The Senate have been playing the role of the villain to the members of the House of Representatives by challenging their love for pork. A Muslim lawmaker said his religion prohibited eating pork but he loved to have pork in the budget.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson was adamant in his opposition to anything that is pork-related. He pointed out the insertion of 8.3 billion pesos in the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways. “Don’t tell me you will have a party all night,” the senator fumed.
“How the hell can you eat all those pork? And you’re using the money intended for the development of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), are you out of your mind?” the exasperated senator asked.
But Alvarez displayed his leadership by keeping his cool, splashing a huge smile before the cameras of the press corps. He did a pabebe wave to his fans, and at the end of the day, the Speaker avoided a gridlock and eased the tension between him and the hot-headed senator.
“We are busy doing our jobs in the House. We investigated Sen. Leila de Lima’s sex life, sex videos, sex partners, sex positions, and sex organs and orgasms. Unless Sen. Lacson could demonstrate that he’s capable of doing what we have done, I have no time for him,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez made a comparison and contrast between the performances of the two chambers of Congress — the House and the Senate. “In the Senate, you have senators opposing the president. But in the House we have lawmakers saying yes to everything the president said,” he explained.
“Next year, we will prioritize death penalty and the continuation of extrajudicial executions of drug addicts. Because you know the president is allergic to drug addicts — they should be exterminated,” Alvarez added.
With just one bill passed into law in 2016, the 17th Congress has become the best performing Congress in history.
“No wonder the House of Representatives is called Crocodile Farm,” an unnamed proud tax payer remarked in disgust.