VICE President Jejomar Binay on Monday vowed to find a way that will allow legislators to again be given funds that they can use to help their constituents in time of need.
If elected president, Binay said he will create a committee that will look into the Supreme Court (SC) decision declaring the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel unconstitutional. The committee will determine if there is a way to enable lawmakers to provide immediate help to their constituents.
“I think we have to research to find out the extent of the effects of the (SC) decision [on PDAF],” Binay told the members of the National Unity Party (NUP) during its convention. Before the High Court outlawed PDAF, each senator got P200 million while each congressman received P70 million that they can use to pay for burial, hospitalization and other needs of their constituents.
Binay however made it clear that he has no intention to bring back PDAF since the funding mechanism has been declared unconstitutional by the SC. He stressed that he only wants lawmakers to provide immediate help to their constituents especially during emergency situation.
He said a legal study could be done to look into the possibility of allowing lawmakers to fund soft or non-infrastructure projects.
Several lawmakers and government officials, including three senators, are facing plunder and other graft charges for their alleged involvement in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.
Binay said he also plans to push for a moratorium on the filing of cases against possible candidates one year before an election.
The vice president said the idea is to prevent the Office of the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan to be used by politicians for their own personal gains.
“I want to point out that there should be a moratorium. It will be enforced one year before an election,” he added.
Binay said there are instances wherein a complaint is filed against a potential candidate to either to force him or her to back out or prevent him from running.
Binay and his son, suspended Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., are also facing plunder complaints at the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2 which Binay critics claim was overpriced.