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Malacañang asked to veto CEZA budget

Manila, Philippines – The word war between the country’s top legal titans – Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Miriam Defensor Santiago – refuses to die down with Santiago asking Malacanang yesterday to veto an P890.88 million budget for the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), a legislative creation of Enrile when he was a member of the House of Representatives.

This came after Santiago wrote Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad and appealed that President Benigno S. Aquino III should veto an item in the proposed 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA or national budget) appropriating R890,886,000 for the CEZA.

The bicameral conference committees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives approved Monday their report that Congress ratifies it and forward an enrolled GAA bill for approval by the President.

The inclusion of the R890.8 million funding for CEZA was recommended by Sen. Sergio R. Osmena III, one of the chairmen of the various sub-committees of the Senate finance committee chaired by Sen. Francis “Chiz’’ Escudero. It was later made part of the Senate version of the budget. (Mario Casayuran)