• ‘Abolish SC pork fund, too’

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    Lawmakers file proposed measure in House

    SINCE the Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) are unconstitutional, the judiciary’s own “pork barrel” should also be abolished, some lawmakers said in a proposed bill on Wednesday.

    Invoking the power of the purse vested in them by the Constitution, the lawmakers backed a bid to abolish the P1.7 billion annual Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) and wrest control of appropriating the fund from the judicial branch.

    The support from Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao of Isabela, Rep. Elpidio Barzaga of Cavite and Rep. Silvestre Bello of 1-BAP party-list, all lawyers, came a day after their colleagues Niel Tupas Jr. of Iloilo and Rodolfo Farinas of Ilocos Norte filed their respective bills in the House of Representatives seeking to repeal the JDF law.

    The lawmakers argued that in accordance with the SC’s declaration of the DAP and PDAF discretionary funds as illegal, the JDF should also be outlawed on the basis of its being discretionary —the Chief Justice has the exclusive power and duty to approve and authorize JDF disbursements and expenditures.

    “It is about time that we repeal the JDF Law. It is only the Supreme Court, among all other departments, that enjoys the benefit of a special purpose fund. The legislature, which is the constitutional holder of the purse string, cannot even look into it with the Supreme Court invoking fiscal autonomy,” Aggabao, the House Deputy Speaker from the Nationalist People’s Coalition, said in a text message.

    The JDF was created through Presidential Decree 1949. The fund comes from docket and other legal fees paid by party litigants and is supposed to be used to finance the cost of living allowance of court employees (80 percent) and purchase of office equipment and other facilities (20 percent).

    Under Tupas’ and Fariñas’ proposals, all fees and collections constituting the JDF will be immediately and regularly remitted by the Supreme Court to the National Treasury and that no allocation, disbursement or expenditure of the JDF will be paid out, except pursuant to an appropriation by Congress as part of the budget of the judiciary, as provided for in the General Appropriations Act.

    “The clarion call of the people now is accountability and transparency. It would be desirable that all funds collected from the people are placed in the general fund, to be disposed [of]in the manner that Congress may see fit,” said Aggabao, who is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

    Barzaga, executive vice president of the National Unity Party that is allied with the Aquino administration, bolstered Aggabao’s argument by stressing that even judges of the Regional Trial Court and Metropolitan Trial Court do not know what portion of their allowances and/or salaries comes from the JDF.

    “The spokesman of the Supreme Court merely stated that the public can view it on the Supreme Court website, but all you will see [there]are merely lump sum figures without detailed specifications regarding their disbursement. Should the Supreme Court still refuse to heed the call, Congress would be exercising the powers granted to it by the Constitution such as amendment, modification or even repeal of the law if warranted,” Barzaga said.

    “The people need to know how their money is spent. The JDF is people’s money.

    Hence, the Supreme Court must account for its use. It’s about time Congress asserted its power of the purse,” Bello, who served as Justice secretary during the administration of then-President Gloria Arroyo, said.

    Retaliation?
    Opposition lawmakers, meanwhile, expressed serious concern over the Commission on Audit’s (COA) move questioning the High Court’s use of its savings, saying it could be part of Malacanang’s retaliation for the SC’s decision declaring DAP unconstitutional.

    Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said the timing of the issuance of COA’s statement questioning the SC savings is suspicious, considering that it was done on the same day that President Benigno Aquino 3rd delivered his speech defending the acceleration program.

    “It is very obvious. The timing is so bad,” Ejercito said, referring to the release of a COA report questioning the tribunal’s handling of its P3.19 billion savings in 2012.

    He welcomed the ruling that declared DAP unconstitutional, saying that although the controversial disbursement program is different from PDAF, both violated the Constitution.

    “It is unfortunate that President Aquino is now challenging the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision against DAP,” the opposition senator added.

    He said it would have been better if the President showed respect to the SC decision.

    The lawmaker is worried that the COA’s move may be part of an attempt to pressure the SC and force it to reverse its decision on the controversial program.

    Sen. Nancy Binay said the audit agency’s action could be perceived as Malacanang’s way of getting back at the SC justices.

    “I hope this is not in retaliation for the DAP decision because if that is the case, the move can be seen as petty and vindictive,” Binay added in a statement.

    The senator expressed hope that the DAP controversy will not lead to a feud between the executive and the judiciary because it would be counter-productive.

    Binay said the government should accept the High Court’s ruling on the acceleration program and focus on resolving problems such as the dwindling power supply, rising prices of goods, lack of jobs, chronic poverty and worsening peace and order.

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    31 Comments

    1. DAP,PDAF and JDF,investigate,if there is corruption prosecute,PDAF=3 senator in jail plunder,DAP=0,JDF=0,this is the score right it can change.Lets move on making PDAF and DAP unconstitutionals will not help anybody,just abolish DAP,PDAF and JDF,distraction country not moving because of this stupid shit,congressmans ,senators help the president run the country toward for progress,stop running your mouth action needed.if you are not part of the solution,go find a tree and a rope then hang yourself,you are useless.Mabuhay ang PILIPINAS.

    2. Ganti lang iyan ni Abnoy at alipores .. Congresso din ang gumawa nang batas tungkol sa JDF ang natatandaan ko reason sa mga news noon ginawa nila ang batas sa JDF para hindi macontrol nang mga congressman at paresidente ang fund and also pagiging indipendent nang SC. Ngayong nagdecision ang SC na hindi pabor sa kanila ang judicial fund nang SC ang kanilang ganti.

    3. need to audit and investigate the Judiciary Development Fund past and present,ito mga kababayan ay pork barrel ng mga SC Justices.mga tanong.Mayroon din kaya silang Napoles dito,saan naponta yong mga pondo,ito mga kababayan ay past and present.kaya napabagal ang hustisya,kulang ba sa gamit ,tao,o sa iba napupunta yong pondo,kaya mabagal ang resulta ng mga kaso.

    4. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

      What does this tupak is up to. He is the chairman of the judiciary committee in the
      house who led the prosecutors in the impeachment. In short, he was one of these
      who benefited from the DAP. This time he is again in the forefront in abolishing the
      JDF. Maybe this is another source of getting another perk from the king of pork and
      dap. Another source of pagkakakitaan or delihensiya.

    5. Subject: Constitutional crisis from DAP funds (version 3)

      Aquino’s intransigence and bellicosity on the Supreme Court (SC) arising from SC ruling declaring DAP as unconstitutional and illegal will give rise to a Constitutional crisis. Aquino’s public declaration that such ruling paralyzes the executive branch to performs its task to hasten economic well-being of the country if his acts in utilizing DAP funds are virtually restricted and curb by the SC. As such, Aquino insisted DAP did good things and benefitted the people and the SC must not restrain him! Aquino being hardheaded and stubborn will likely follow his abnormal instinct to continue using DAP funds by another name or nomenclature or collar but same dog in defiance of the SC. If that occurs, then the looming constitutional crisis will be for real and may have chaotic and even bloody outcome.

      Here is the envisioned scenario:

      SC will rightfully assert it’s constitutional duty and rights to interpret the laws and the Constitution, which becomes the law of the land. In the exercise of that duty the SC follows the unwritten paramount rule or principle of “check and balance” in a democratic republic. The principle rationale is to prevent abuses of the people’s welfare by one branch of government (here by SC) over the other ( legislative on PDAP and Executive on DAP). Though SC does not have a military or police force to enforce its ruling ( like the illegality and constitutionality of DAP) the SC, by its ruling can assert that the public official concerned (President Aquino and Secretary Abad) can be prosecuted and are liable administratively, civilly and criminally as it did in its DAP ruling.
      Thus, if Aquino continue to subvert the DAP ruling to the point that he still uses DAP funds (though by another nomenclature but same purposes and mechanism), the SC will be constrained to declare the President and his people in Contempt of the Supreme Court, in line with its power to interpret and defend the Constitution! At this instance, a Constitutional crisis starts and becomes alive and a reality. SC can ask and order the military and police to enforce the SC contempt order and make arrests! Will military and police obey the SC order of Contempt and make arrest? At this juncture the loyalty and patriotism of the military and police will be called to action. Opposition group and anti-Aquino, will create a wedge with and divide the loyalty of the military and police. Some people could protest that the military and police can enforce the SC order and arrest the President and his men since the military and police are also sworn to defend, enforce and protect the Constitution, even against the President! A people power in support of the Supreme Court may legitimately ensue and convened. The President, as head of executive branch is not above the law! The SC may also order that legislators involved in PDAP scam must be prosecuted, indicted and convicted when evidence warrants. This is a protective step by SC to prevent legislative to squeeze and emasculate their judicial funds vital to its existence and make it financially independent from the two branches of government. This is now being done by allies of Aquino in the Lower House on the pretext of exercising the “power of the purse”.
      The people being fed up by corruptions and the righteous youth will embark In a widespread discontent and protest against the establishments (president and corrupt legislators). Since the moral issue of corruption and violations of the Constitution are the central driving force of the crisis, the people and the youth will side in favor of the SC! The Constitutional crisis will cause chaos, confusion and possible anarchy by the mob and a will lead to a take-over by adventurous military and police supported by political opposition. A triumvirate form of possible dictatorial form of government, headed by either an ambitious or principled brave and courageous military or police official may emanate from the chaos and turmoil. In the end, the government of Aquino and the Legislature of corrupt legislators will be toppled. And a New Democratic and honest President elected under the supervision of the Triumvirate government prevail, with a fresh and honest new set of legislators to supplant the old corrupt one! For the Nation and it’s people, it will be a happily triumphant end of the Aquino-created Constitutional crisis!
      Jun Adan
      New York City

      • Agree that this scenario will likely happen. I for one, a taxpayer & law abiding citizen will join any movement to protect the Constitution.

      • Sorry po this observation is far from reality. Maybe if the president is corrupt like others but he is not. Law is a law nobody is above the law. He knows it that is why he intend to file a motion for reconsideration in the coming days. He has also a power to look into what he believe to be necessary to make other branches of the government be responsible for their own version of PDAF. C.O.A. can audit the money of the other branches of government there is no extra ordinary with that premise still within his power. If there may be an anomaly the process start with the recommendation and filing appropriate charges in court is it extra ordinary? Its not.

    6. Another reason why congress should be abolished. You want to take out the JDF because you want total control of the judiciary. The usefullness of you assholes have long ran out. Do you even know what co-equal branch means? Stop endorsing candidates to the judiciary if you want corruption to stop. If there are bad eggs in the judiciary, it is because of politicians meddling in the appoinment of judges and justices. You, asshole politicians, are the corruptors of the society! You should all be shot together with your families to put an end to this vicious cycle of corruption!

      • precisely why there is JDF, so that SC will have fiscal autonomy and to avoid outside pressures. that’s what these assholes, control the judiciary for their own benefits! if they want to know how the money spent, they could always go to COA and have it audited, but to remove it from SC CJ control, that would be another story! greedy bastards!

    7. If all the lawmakers will be put strictly on salaries with no discretionary funds or perks and the Executive branch will be the same, then I have no qualms that this should apply also to the justice department..There is humongous task in cleansing our three branches of our government together with all their departments and bureaus and offices.

    8. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

      As expected this president when he fails to get what he wants, he will find a way
      to get back or retaliate, in this case the Supreme Court. Of course by using these
      congressmen that he bribed by using billions of taxpayers money. This is a bully
      who always considers himself as above the law. Marcos whom they picture as
      dictator or any other president in the past never bullied the Supreme Court.
      What an ignorant president. Imagine calling out his yellows? He does no even
      realize that what he is doing is dividing the nation? That is the problem when
      you are dealing with a mentally sick mad man. My countrymen, let’s wake up
      and unite, do something to protect the country against further damage by this
      mentally sick president. NOW NA.

    9. Maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na paghihiganti ang motibo ng administrasyong ito sa plano nilang ipitin ang JDF ng supreme court dahil nawalan sila ng delihensya ng idineklara ng kataas taasang hukuman na illegal ang PDAF at DAP.

    10. Manny F. Reyes on

      Yes. Get rid of all porks. It is a source of corruption and a magnet to unqualified and unpatriotic scumbugs.

    11. Gambit Bermudez on

      Yes, it’s a good perspective from the part of the lawmakers to examine and modify the laws with regards to the allocated budget of the Supreme court.Accountability and transparency must rule!Though in the fundamentals the 3 branches of the Government which are executive,legislative and judiciary are co-equal I do think the executive has the absolute authority and power among all since the Presidents allies is in the congress/senate.

      The people should be aware of what is also happening with the taxes that is being allocated in the judiciary which is the Supreme Court!It’s time to open the book of the magistrate so the people will know not only the latter two is questionable but also their branch.

    12. Manny F. Reyes on

      The SC declaration that DAP was unconstitutional was counter productive and put us all in a quagmire. The SC shouldn’t have intervened until after the Legislature was given the chance to cure its omissions by ratifying some or all of the Executive’s DAP actions. The Legislature should have been, in the first place, proactive in monitoring the Exec’s actions affecting prerogatives that belonged solely to the Legislative body. This way, the unconstitutional defects and its negative economic impact could have been easily avoided. All the SC had to say is, “We defer decision on these DAP infractions until the Legislature is given sufficient time to resolve them. It is not our business to interfere with the Congress and Executive in the running of the government’s fiscal activities. We are not experts in public administration and business management. If you two have any disagreement involving interpretation of law, then we will be happy to oblige.”

      • mabuti pa basahin nyo muna ang ruling ng SC para malaman nyo kung bkit. Huwag kayong magpapaniwala dyan sa sabi ng mga Congressman at ni PNOY at puro deception yang kanilang ginagawa.

      • Kalokohan ang pinagsasabi mo. Gano katagal gumawa nang batas ang congresso ? SC hindi kikilos kung walang mag file nang caso .. since may ginawang kabulastugan ang excutive at may nag file nang kaso sa SC kailangan nyang magdecision. Ang logic mo magantay muna ang SC nang bagong ilalabas na batas ang congresso bago mag decisions para maging pabor sa DAP kalokohan. Simple lang ang SC magdidisisyon base sa kasulukuyang umiiral na batas , hindi nila gawain na mag antay muna nang bagong batas na ilalabas bago mag decisions.

    13. Mga anak ng tupak talaga itong mga tongressmen! Kinapon na nga ang kanilang kapangyarihan, masaya pa ring nagpapagamit sa malacanyang. Hindi kayo nababagay sa inyong posisyon. Magresign na lang kayo mga inutil!!!!!!

    14. I agree. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The SC saw fit to discredit DAP as unconstitutional. In like manner, it will have to surrender control over its on JDF funds. They must live by example and revert the JDF back to the Treasury to be appropriated by under the General Appropriations Act.

    15. COA as a tool of the President to satisfy his whims was bolstered by this publication of the audit of the JDF. Little did Pulido-Tan realize that as soon as she is appointed to the SC by her boss Pnoy, she would be among the justices that she now questions could have wrongly utilized the SC’s savings. But that is o.k. What is suspicious is the timing of her audit right after SC declared DAP unconstitutional. Will Tan also divulge to the public her audit schedules?

    16. ronaldo makiling on

      our president has all the reasons justifying the dap is not illegal due to the law act 1987 which was created by her mother president cory aquino but never use during her term, it is very obvious that the dap has been use in illegal manner at it was declared by sc as unconstitutional while the president says its legal according to his opinions or ill-advised of the cabinet member florencio abad that he has to elaborate to the public sentiment eventhough it is crystal clear that they made a big mistake…..my advise to our president,,,,,,,, follow the rule of law and have a good governance…….

    17. It is quite clear like the sun rises in the morning that Emperor-King of DAP Pnoy is agitating the SC by using the same Congressmen-thieves as tools to harass the SC. This will be a very interesting “war.” There are so many Congressmen-thieves who have pending cases in the courts, ex. Neil Tupas and his father and other Tongressmen and their families. I would like to see the day when the Courts will also start retaliating.

    18. Well well well. SC should explained its side on the issues of their own as it is being question to as well. The most important here is the Pork Barrel as this has been abused trough all the years and need to be address or nothing can be solved
      and well be abused again and again. With the past administration not only during
      the time of Former Pres. GMA it has been going on anyways and glad that finally
      we have now a President PNOY who has taken the initiative to exposed to bring it out
      once and for all. As he has said who ever will take over after his term will carry on to
      take are of those who has abused the taxes of our people. At least now we have seen
      those 3 guys now inside the jail. And hope more will be brought to jail.

      • Snokey Boy, ths disclosure was done by whistleblower Banhur Luy, whose scam leader Janet Lim Napoles is in cahoot with many Congressmen and Senators. By the way it is not President Aquino, he has an ulterior motive to discredit the accomplishment of GMA and push impeachment of CJ Corona because both refused to be influenced by his mother Cory Aquino to reverse the SDO of hacienda Luisita instead they did what is right ,to return hacienda Luisita to its legal beneficiary , the poor farmers. which are the roots of the personal vendetta creating DAP as his personal purse in bribing the Congressmen led by Tupak and some senators as disclosed by Jinggoy Estrada.

    19. P. Akialamiro on

      The same attack dogs of the President in the CJ Corona impeachment are again showing their ‘fangs’. Does anyone foresee what I do, with one branch of the government getting at the other, because of a unanimous legitimate ruling of the SC?
      If the last arbiter of the law cannot even be ‘respected’, who will be? May God bless the Philippines.

    20. Judiciary Development Fund as created during Marcos administration is good for the welfare in protecting the rights of many Filipinos so the Supreme Court will retain their independence and will not be subjected to any undue influence (which this administration is already capitalizing in controlling the Judiciary branch ) and free to deliver fair and just to all who need justice , poor and rich alike.

    21. Oh well, now that Tupas and the rest of the cohorts of this administration has lost their piggybank (PDAF) and DAP funds supposedly. to create jobs for many Filipinos by SC , they are resorting to a disgusting child-like syndrome by retorting back to the SC decision which should have been declared “unconstitutional long time ago. Filipinos are tired of all of you using the money for your personal gain. Filipinos has to leave and look for jobs in other countries because you have failed to do your job for the people who elected you , your constituents. Enough is enough.