Enrile townmate told to keep his position


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: The President told him to keep his post. He ripostes to detractors: “I am ready to go!”

Thus said Manuel Mamba, head of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) in reaction to a senator’s call for his resignation.

Mamba said he is serving at the pleasure of the President and “I am ready to leave anytime as soon as I am told to do so.”

And when he confided his predicament to the President, he was told to remain in his post and perform his job and let his undersecretaries do the necessary coordination with the Senate President’s office, according to Mamba’s closest aid.

Earlier, now acting Senate President, Jinggoy Estrada, called Mamba’s resignation due to what he described as his “lack of coordination with the Congress” especially the Senate.

“I respect the statement of Senator Estrada,” said Mamba, also a three-term congressman of Cagayan’s third district, in response to the senator’s call to leave his post.

Estrada, stalwart of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said Mamba’s poor performance has resulted in the President’s veto of a number of measures approved by both Houses of Congress.

Following the resignation of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile from the Senate top post, Estrada also chided Mamba for failure to make courtesy calls on members of the Senate.

Estrada said this was also due to Mamba’s long standing political feud with Enrile who are both from Cagayan province but are bitter political enemies.

“Mamba’s performance could have enhanced coordination between Malacañang and Congress,” Estrada said.

The Mambas of the Liberal Party have politically ruled for the last 30 years since the 1980s while Enrile, one of the pillars of the United Nationalist People’s Alliance, is undeniably the political kingpin of Cagayan.

“Mamba’s performance could have enhanced coordination between Malacañang and Congress,” Estrada said.

But Mamba said he was snub­bed by Enrile when he tried to pay a courtesy visit at his office in the Senate following his appointment as PLLO head.

And despite being not in good terms with Enrile as well as failure to attend some hearings on measures in the Senate, Mamba said the President still signed into law many bills because of their exigency.

Mamba said many of the measures which were vetoed by the President, including 55 local bills, are mostly those seeking to convert municipal, city and provincial roads into national roads and have some flaws or lacking justifications.

He said some of these local roads pushed for national road category only duplicate already existing roads and merely interconnect villages, towns or cities within their areas, or merely serve the needs of local traffic.

“All of these vetoed national road conversion bills, if passed into law would only put an enormous strain on the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways,” he said.

Lawmakers concerned during their deliberation have been duly advised that these bills are likely to be vetoed by the President for failing to meet the criteria, according to Mamba.
“But still, these lawmakers insisted and pushed for these measures, thinking perhaps that the President would still approved them,” he said.

“The President is very meticulous and reads himself the proposed measures and when he is not satisfied, he would seek inputs from concerned agencies. He always finds time to carefully study them before he signs them into law,” Mamba said.


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