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  1. Join Date
    May 2005
    THEY could be on an official trip to the Big Apple, courtesy of Filipino taxpayers, to join President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she attends the United Nations summit and general assembly in New York this week.

    But to their colleagues in the Philippines, the visit to New York City of about 12 lawmakers during the congressional break was a waste of people's money, especially at a time when no less than Malacañang has ordered an austerity program among government officials.

    The lawmakers group is separate from the trip of Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. who arrived in New York on Thursday to push for his debt-for-equity in Millenium Development Goals investment proposal for some 100 heavily-indebted nations, including the Philippines.

    Yesterday, anti-administration lawmakers claimed the trip was the "prize" of the lawmakers for voting in favor of House justice committee report junking the impeachment complaints against the President.

    But the price was too costly, according to Representatives Rolex Suplico (LDP, Iloilo) and Roilo Golez (Ind., Parañaque), who estimated the cost of the trip at P25 million, including the lawmakers' plane fare, per diems and allowances for food and lodging.

    They might not be staying in the very expensive The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park but, according to reports from the Big Apple, a single occupancy hotel room in America's premier city could amount to at least $500 a day.

    The Inter-Parliamentary Relations Service (IPRS), the House body that coordinates the domestic and foreign travel of congressmen and other House officials-- oftentimes including members of their families -- has refused to release the names of the lawmakers, advising reporters to address their queries to House Secretary General Roberto Nazareno.

    Marisol Salazar, an IPRS staff member, who said her office only issues travel authority to traveling House officials, said Nazareno's office has the list of congressmen going on overseas trips, official or otherwise.

    But Nazareno, when asked by a female reporter, said he does not have the list either and referred the report back to the IPRS.

    Suplico wondered why the IPRS should be so secretive when the information needed by the reporters is for public consumption because it involves public interest.

    But a report from New York City identified some of the lawmakers as Representatives Anthony Miranda (KAMPI, Isabela), Herminia Ramiro (Lakas, Negros Occidental) and Amelita Villarosa (KAMPI, Mindoro Occidental).

    Rep. Jesli Lapus (NPC, Tarlac) was fuming mad yesterday after his name was mentioned in newspaper and radio reports as among the lawmakers who joined President Arroyo in her U.S. trip.

    Independent House sources said the other lawmakers in the group included anti-impeachment Representatives Rey Aquino (Pampanga), Ana York Bondoc (Pampanga), Raul del Mar (Cebu), Antonio Cuenco (Cebu), Nerissa Soon-Ruiz (Cebu), Reylina Nicolas (Bulacan), Loran Silverio (Bulacan) and Danilo Suarez (Quezon).

    Golez, a former national security adviser to the President, said the lawmakers who made the U.S. trip never thought of the economic hardships being experienced by the Philippines.

    "Garapalan na talaga. The government, directly or indirectly, would spend around P25 million for the indecent junket that rubs salt on the wounds of the 79 percent of the nation who want the impeachment process to be given due course," Golez said.

    "No wonder they were in a hurry to kill the impeachment complaint, so that they can join the New York bash. It is not surprising if the grand victory party will be held there," he added.

    But House Majority Leader Prospero Nograles Jr. (Lakas, Davao City), claimed the traveling lawmakers "spent for their own" in going to New York City.

    "They are on there on their own time and expense. There were no funds from the House or the Palace. It's our break. They deserve a vacation, too," Nograles added.

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    kaya madami nag aambisyon sa politics.....sarap buhay ...

  2. Join Date
    Mar 2005
    ano kaya kung sa Harlem na lang pinag-stay yun mga congressmen? hehehe

  3. Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Ang dami nang naghihigpit sinturon dito sa atin, tapos makakarinig ka ng ganoon. GRRR!

  4. #4
    kawawang Juan...

  5. Join Date
    Nov 2004
    tsk tsk tsk

  6. Join Date
    Sep 2003
    that is already enough to construct 75 units of public school buildings that can house at least 2,800 elementary pupils in the countryside for the next ten years instead of having their classes held under the trees and from these underprivileged schoolchildren may someday surface a new breed of intelligent and trustworthy congressmen

  7. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    that's scandalous!!!

    ....bakit hindi sila nag-imbita?

  8. Join Date
    Sep 2004
    austerity measures? sa dami nang pagtitipid na pinapatupad ni GMA ni isa ata di nasusunod. Trip to new york? Sinayang lang talaga ang kakaunting pera ng pilipinas. Kawawa naman ang mga constituents ng kung sino mang lawmakers ang nagbakasyon sa new york. Habang sila'y abala sa pamamasyal at paghiga sa malambot na kama ang taumbayan gutom at nagiisip kung paano kakain sa maghapon.

  9. Join Date
    May 2005
    Traditional Politician!!!

  10. Join Date
    Dec 2003
    screw GMA for allowing this, ito rin ba mapapala ng EVAT? damn you

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Taxpayers pay P25M for solons' New York bash