President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is joined by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano during the joint session of the 18th Congress and before delivering his fourth State of the Nation Address on July 22, 2019. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night urged House lawmakers to stop the political games and dilly-dallying and hasten the passage of the 2021 national budget, or else he would intervene.

“Huwag niyo naman sanang sobrahan yung laro sa Congress na yung budget mismo ang nalagay sa alanganin. I’m just appealing to you,” the president said in a recorded message.

“Gusto ko lang sabihin in one straight statement: Either you resolve the issue sa impasse ninyo diyan and pass the budget, legally and constitutionally, kapag hindi ninyo ginawa, ako ang gagawa para sa inyo,” he added.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday moved to pass on second reading the P4.506-trillion national budget for 2021.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies in a sudden maneuver also moved to suspend plenary sessions days ahead of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco’s supposed takeover of the speakership post.

The House suspension will coincide with the Senate’s, which will start on Oct. 17.

Because of the suspension overlap, worries over the possible delay in the passage of the national budget bill were raised.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier said Cayetano had promised to “submit by Nov. 5 their proposed copies of the different budget books.”

Duterte said he would not set a deadline for the budget bill but called on the legislators to accelerate its passage for the people.

“We always forget that there is something higher than delaying or maneuvering in Congress because everybody wants to be Speaker,” he said.

The president added that if nothing came up “within the next few days,” then he would “do his thing.”

Duterte’s spokesman has repeatedly distanced him from further involvement in the House speakership dispute between Cayetano and Velasco, who entered a “15-21” term-sharing agreement in a deal the president brokered. John Ezekiel J. Hirro