We’ve been saying it all along. Noynoy Aquino, Butch Abad and associates have circumvented provisions of the Constitution that laid down basis to the Supreme Court (SC) rulings outlawing pork barrel.
The High Court declared unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in November 2013 and the Disbursement Acceleration Program in July 2014.
Instead of heeding the SC rulings, Noynoy and his cohorts merely changed the labels of and concealed the congressional and presidential pork barrel items in the railroaded 2014 and 2015 national budgets.
In the same way that a drug addict cannot do away with his fix, these pork barrel addicts shrewdly got around the SC landmark rulings to keep their loot.
Noynoy’s administration has, in fact, outdone and outperformed Gloria Arroyo’s in terms of lascivious leakages in the national treasury.
Like sex-starved perverts, the “bright heads” in the Palace and the stamp-pad 16th Congress raped and ravaged the nation’s coffers, making the national budget balloon to trillions of pesos and sinking us deeper in foreign debt.
That is why the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) has asked the Supreme Court to stop the shameless fleecing of public funds, including Noynoy’s pork barrel.
In petitioning the SC for a temporary restraining order (TRO), Philconsa cited the “scandalous and unconscionable freight” of P424-billion lump sums that were “cleverly embedded” in nine departments, including two agencies directly under the Office of President.
Former senator Ping Lacson said the agencies with the biggest pork barrel are the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Department of National Defense, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Transportation and Communications.
Among the specific unconstitutional provisions the petitioners cited in the General Appropriations Act of 2015 were Section 65 on lump sum appropriations, Section 70, which redefined “savings,” and Section 73, which allowed realignment of funds.
Philconsa, led by its president Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, along with former Budget secretary Benjamin Diokno, former senator Francisco Tatad and Archbishops Fernando Capalla, Romulo de la Cruz and Ramon Arguelles, sought the SC to issue a TRO on the allocation of lump sums.
In a full-bench session presided over by Justice Arturo Brion, the SC ordered Malacañang and Congress to respond to Philconsa’s claims in its petition in 10 days.
Earlier this month, former national treasurer Leonor Briones of anti-corruption watchdog Social Watch Philippines filed a similar petition in which case the SC also ordered the government to respond.
Abad blamed lawmakers for the existence of lump sums as they were the ones who approved his national budget scheme.
Kung ano ang lapad ng kanyang noo, yun din ang kapal ng mukha nitong si Butchiki.
It is clear and evident that there is a pattern and systematic plunder of public funds throughout Noynoy’s term.
This weekend, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the General Appropriations Act (GAA) based on Abad’s national expenditures program for the 2016 election year.
Of the 291 congressmen, only 20 voted “nay” to the exorbitant P3 trillion budget proposal for 2016.
With a number of senators running for reelection to or for higher office, the GAA is expected to pass smoothly.
The House-approved bill was left virtually untouched from the original budget proposal submitted by the Department of Budget and Management .
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares noted the presence of pork barrel or lump sums or discretionary funds amounting to P758 billion.
Wala talagang kahihiyan sa Tuwad na Daan.
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