Did President Duterte simply threaten Sen. Sonny Angara into passing his tax reform bundle?
Angara, chair of the Senate methods and means committee which is dealing with the President’s tax reform bundle, believed it was a veiled menace.
The President, in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) known as out these in the viewers who did not clap on his push for tax payments by issuing marching order on “the Senate to pass my tax reform in full and pass it with haste.”
“Ano ba gusto nyo, lumuhod ako sa inyo? Si Angara, ayaw din mag clap. Bantay ka lang sa election, tingnan mo,” Duterte was quoted saying in the center of his speech.
Angara admitted that he’s “a little bit” pressured by Duterte’s SONA speech provided that the stated tax reforms which embrace imposition of taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks, increased taxes on petroleum merchandise, lifting of some VAT-exempt services and products amongst many others, have been a part of the precedence measure of the Executive.
“Sa tingin ko meron na rin (threat). Yung sa re-election nga baka, if we don’t pass it, maybe we won’t be in the good graces of the administration. it is where it is ‘di ba?” he stated to reporters after the President’s supply of his SONA.
“(But) alam mo naman si President, pabiro lagi yan. He asked it to pass it in full. I have to discuss that with my colleagues kasi many of my colleagues have expressed reservations over the tax bill. So pag-uusapan namin. If we can take it in full, because there are really some aspects that we feel we need not debate anymore,” he stated.
“We must learn to interact with the Executive branch to come up with a good bill that’s pro-people,” Angara added.
Angara, is amongst 5 senators due for re-election in the approaching mid-term polls in 2019 together with Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Bam Aquino and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito.
Duterte, in defending his tax reform program earlier than Congress members, stated the measure was designed to be pro-poor and it’ll fund the proposed 2018 funds which he already submitted to the 2 Houses.