House defers PCOO budget hearing after ‘red’ label
CONGRESSMEN suspended hearings on the budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Wednesday after an official tagged progressive lawmakers as communists.
Act Teachers Party-list Rep. France L. Castro moved to suspend the budget hearing on PCOO after grilling Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, who had accused lawmakers critical of the government of being involved in armed rebellion.
Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate seconded the motion.
ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Yap carried the motion to suspend the hearing after members of the committee did not object.
“We have to ensure that the undersecretary responds to these concerns under oath,” Ms. Castro said in mixed English and Filipino.
Ms. Castro and Mr. Zarate presented before the committee several Facebook posts of Ms. Badoy accusing them and other lawmakers of being high-ranking officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“And she is also calling us terrorists,” Mr. Zarate said. Ms. Badoy did not respond to the lawmakers’ complaints.
During the online hearing, PCOO Secretary Martin M. Andanar tried to distance himself from Ms. Badoy, saying her status updates had been posted on her personal Facebook page, not on the page of the PCCO, which has about two million followers.
In a separate statement, Ms.Castro urged Ms. Badoy to resign. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza