President’s pork ‘rotten’ too

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SUPREME Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion believes that President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s discretionary funds or pork barrel is also “constitutionally anomalous” and should be abolished by the Court.

In his 20-page Separate Concurring and Dissenting Opinion, Brion, the only bar first placer in the High Court, said it is Congress that allowed the irregularity by giving the President his own pork barrel in lump sum without congressional scrutiny.

The Court on Tuesday ruled that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)—the congressional pork barrel—as unconstitutional.

Brion said “current practices in Congress has allowed him (Aquino) his own pork barrel—generally, lump sum funds that he can utilize at his discretion without passing through the congressional mill and without meaningful congressional scrutiny. As I have stated, this is a constitutionally anomalous practice that requires Court intervention as the budgetary partners will allow matters to remain as they are unless externally restrained by legally binding actions.”


He said Congress surrendered its budgeting prerogatives to the President because it was given its own pork barrel.

“Congress, for its part, is given significant authority to decide on the projects and activities that will take place, and to allocate funds for these national undertakings. It has not at all complained about the loss of its budgeting prerogatives to the President,” the magistrate said.

“Thus, what confronts the Court is a situation where two partners happily scratch each other’s back although the Constitution prohibits this practice,” he said.

Brion said he voted to “strike down” the use of the Malampaya funds because it is a discretionary lump sum fund.

“It is a pure and simple pork barrel granted to the President under a martial law regime that could have escaped invalidity then under the 1973 Constitutional and the prevailing unusual times, but should be struck down now for being out of step with the requirements of the 1987 Constitution,” he said.

“It is a fund raised intended for special purposes but the characterization ‘special purpose’ is not reason enough and is not a magical abracadabra phrase that could whisk a fund out of the constitutional budget process, defying even common reason in the process,” he added.

Brion noted that the powers over the Malampaya fund was “left to the will of one man (Aquino) in terms of its growth, economic trajectory and future development. That the discretion is given to the President of the Philippines is not at all a valid argument simply because the legal situation should no longer be allowed under the 1987 Philippine Constitution that requires a valid appropriation for every use of the public fund.”

He also wanted Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to be cited for contempt for violating the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the tribunal on Sept. 10 halting the release of the remaining PDAF funds.

The Court noted that Abad issued a DBM Circular Letter dated Sept. 27, 2013, authorizing implementing agencies to continue implementing PDAF projects.

“The issuance of the DBM Circular Letter is prima facie an indirect contempt for which the DBM Secretary himself should be liable unless he can show why he should not be punished,” Brion said.

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25 Comments

  1. Roldan Guerrero on

    The Presidents Pork Barrel for the fiscal year budget for 2014 is almost half the national budget. You can just imagine how money is again at stake in the hands of these BANDITS of the government.Who could guaranty Pnoy is not stealing? Tell it to the marines! The governments inability to act immediately after the tragic Yolanda typhoon proves this! BSA keeps bragging here and abroad about his accomplishments telling everywhere that the Philippines has the best economic growth in asia only to find out there is no ready funds to use for the victims. Everything were drained including the Malampaya Fund. Billions had been spent to fund the campaign for his candidates in the last midterm elections and this is why there is no available money for the victims. It was so fortunate that foreign aids came in immidiately that Panot has been saved from severe exposure which most Filipinos do not know!

  2. this is the best news that i have ever read since the long battle over the use of pork barrel began. finally the SC has spoken… indeed, no one is above the law. the law of the just must prevail. hay… this is long over due is it not.? thank you supreme court now i can say that there is justice in this country after all. now i can sleep soundly .

  3. Miguel Doromal on

    Horse trading has evolved into a new name: Pork Trading.

    Congress (bicameral) has become a Pork Exchange Center.

  4. Kahit ano pa ang sabihin mo Mr. Brion, nanaisin ko pa nang milyong beses na si Pnoy na lang ang humawak ng perang panggastos sa Bayan. Kung hindi dahil sa kanyang honesty ay hindi daragsa na parang bagyong Yolanda ang mga foreign aid. Pasalamat tayong mga Pilipino at siya ang Presidente nang dumating ang kalamidad na ito. Kung si GMA o Erap ang president ay baka ga-ambon lang and dumating na aid. Got it?

    O, sya sige, linisin mo narin yang Judicatura at napakaraming corrupt na Judges ayon pa kay Kapunan. Bago mo pansinin ang Executive Branch ay ituon mo muna ang iyong paningin sa iyong bakuran.

    • Darewin Ocampo on

      Oh? Honesty e ayaw nga ipahawak ng mga nagdonate sa sinumang government official ang mga donasyon nila. Dumagsa ang mga donasyon dahil sa coverage ng international media gaya ng CNN at hindi dahil kay Pnoy na day 6 after the disaster pa lang natapos ang master plan nya.

    • narciso c. vergara jr. on

      it’s anderson cooper who had shown to the world the real situation of the devastation in central visayas, thus the world had responded positively!

      noynoy aquino was nowhere to be found after the havoc brought by cyclone haiyan… it’s only after five days that he surfaced!

    • Ganon ba? Kaya pala kaliwa’t kanan ang pagwawaldas ng ugok na yan ng pera na mga Pinoy gaya ng panunuhol sa mga mambabatas? Yan pa rin ang mas gugustuhin mo? Ang idol mo, apaw sa utak ang kagahaman sa pera na hindi kanya at di niya pinaghirapan? Paano pa natin pagkakatiwalaan ang taong ganyan? Ablish the DAP now!!!

  5. if no PDAF no more holDAP. It would also lessen the number of aspiring politicians to run for public offices. Only those with dedication to serve the people would do so.

  6. wilmer andrada on

    Associate Justice Brion is right,scrap any lump sum funds that are discretionary in disbursement. and declare them unconstitutional. These always amount to political patronage and a temptation to bribery , graft , corruption and plain thievery. The Supreme
    Court is starting to gain the overdue respect they deserve from the Filipino people..We still want to see convictions and jail term for all these high profile politicians. Pres. Gloria Arroyo is still free in spite of the valid evidence filed against her.The order to the Ombudsman and the Sandigan Bayan to get on their butts to start prosecuting is very encouraging.Finally, I can see a ray of hope for the Philippine political system.Thanks to the whistle blowers,the people power, and the free press. You will all go down in history as heroes and patriots.

  7. Saturnino R. Mendinueto, Jr. on

    Yuon DAP na sabi ni jUNGOY ay REWARS o SUHOL binigay na P10M sa bawat 188 Tongressmen na anak ng mga Tupas at 20 mga Senatong sa pag impeach kay CJ Cororna na pinamudmud ni Lolong Drillon ay dapat busisiin ng COA-TAN’s at kung wala silang mapakita legit na recibo ay dapat isama silang lahat sa Bicutan jail kasama si Napoles at mga lahat ng sankot sa P10B scam. Isama din si ABAD na kung gano kakintab ang bububunan ay syang kaitim ang budhi kaya pinabayaan nya nakawin ang KABAN NG BAYAN. TAMA ANG SUPREME COURT NA PROSECUTE LAHAT NG SANGKOT SA SCAM. MABUHAY ANG SUPREME COURT !

  8. the_middlefingers on

    who will aquino turn to for help now? just wondering. given his calloused nerve to admit his boondoggles, all he can do now is resign and sit in jail for all his crimes that he had easily swept under the rug.

  9. Supreme Court, you are the last hope of the Phl. Strike down DAP. Pnoy, Abad, Drilon et al you must be prosecuted for your crimes against the Filipino people.

  10. Kung “rotten” ang Pork ni Pnoy… ito bang Presidential Pork ay patungo sa TUWID NA DAAN? O patungo sa “MALING DAAN”? Dahil may sariling Pork si Pnoy… sino kaya ang pinatatamaan niya nang sabihin niyang HINDI AKO MANANAKAW… HINDI MAGNANAKAW (pa}?

    Tama lang ang desicion ng SC… ALISIN ANG LAHAT NG PORK!!! The message is loud and clear… including the President’s Pork, itself.

  11. santiago caisido on

    Dapat si abad magresign. Siya ang creator ng DAP . Di naman kaya ni pinoy na imbintuhin yan ano.

  12. SC Justice Brion is absolutely correct. It’s a give and take for the Executive and both houses of congress for a very long time but no one’s complaining because they all benefit from each other. It is now time to stop the abuse and people should keep an eye on how the politicians is spending our money. Fast track and jail those who are now being accused to show as an example on how thieves are punished when they are caught stealing the people’s money. Lastly, never pardon those who are convicted.

  13. It is common knowledge that pork barrel funds are the roots of graft and corruption. If many members of Congress abused their PDAF or pork funds by channeling them to fake NGOs of Napoles for kickbacks, would it be assuming too much to say that BS Aquino could treat his own un-audited humongous pork allocations in the same way as members of Congress did to theirs? Mr. Brion is right in saying that Congress surrendered its right to scrutinize the pork funds of the President because BS Aquino gave them their fat PDAF, which were almost three times what Gloria Arroyo gave Congress during her term. BS Aquino and Congress seem to live by the motto, “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”. How convenient!

    For his abuse of taxpayers’ money in wantonly throwing it as pork and DAP funds to the pigs in Congress, BS Aquino has lost the trust of many of his countrymen who looked at him as the HOPE of our country at the start of his term. Now, his incorruptible image is shattered, and has drawn the contempt of his people, many of whom call him the Chief Corruptor of Congress and the Pork Barrel King!

  14. Youre talking too much about the other branches of the goverment how they are so rotten, why not star cleaning your judicial system? We know how rotten is our justice,
    Start frm fiscals, judges, and not to ignore the CA , they are all can be bought, which high profile cases can you mentioned that been put to jail?…even tax evaders cannot be prosecuted although BIR presented proper evidence, judges just turn the other way around..small fry cannot file cases against rich people , because they know there’s no way of winning..its simply JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE PHILIPPINE IS SO ROTTEN

    • Simon Benigno Arroyo on

      Agree, what we need is to complete revamp of the dysfunctional elitist and plutocratic judicial system to democratic.
      The pluralistic professional/skilled citizenry should be part of the management and judgement in lower court.
      The judicial system is run by lawyers thru conspiracy, lobbing, brokering, fixing of cases for a consideration. Laywers are no doubt perfect in law but not with justice.
      Justice is not just written laws, it includes natural laws, logic, morality, common sense, political ideology, human sensitivity, multi-profession experience related to case and lastly, unanimous judgement .
      Justice is priceless and compassionate after judgement.

    • wilmer andrada on

      You are absolutely right.The Supreme Court should start cleaning the Justice System because it is as rotten as the legislative and executive branches. In Illinois USA ,our Governor and a former Governor are both in jail ,so with one of our Congressman.The amount of their offenses are very miniscule compared to our political vultures in the Philippines.The NBI should be well funded so they can play a better role in catching the crooks from our government and the Justice Department should be in the forefront prosecuting and punishing those who are guilty A truly democratic country should be for the people , by the people. of the people and there should be equal justice for all.

  15. Victor Manalaysay on

    Remember granting DAP money to lawmakers who voted guilty on Coronas impeachment and not to those who voted “not guilty”? That’s a bad example of how DAP is being used. Now that PDAP is dead, we can foresee that DAP money is going to be granted to lawmakers who give Noynoy favor…para na rin silang may PDAP at
    scrutiny-free pa!!!

  16. Victor Manalaysay on

    Remember granting DAP money to lawmakers who voted not guilty on Coronas impeachment and not to those who voted “not guilty”? That’s a bad example of how DAP is being used. Now that PDAP is dead, we can foresee that DAP money is going to be granted to lawmakers who give Noynoy favor…para na rin silang may PDAP at
    scrutiny-free pa!!!

  17. Since the PDAF violated the 1987 Philippine constitution, why was it not declared unconstitutional then?. The government could have saved Billions of Pesos from corruption, had it been fixed or abolished. Whose fault were these?

  18. Roldan Guerrero on

    ABAD is the HACKMAN and BAGMAN of BSA. They are partners in crime so they should both face the consequences of the LAW. They are common in many things, and one is both are balding which ordinarily happens to people who are pretending to be clean but are the REAL CROATS IN COATS.

  19. Mabuhay kayong lahat na mga Justices ng Supreme Court! Ngayon ninyo ipinakita sa aming mga mamamayan na karapat dapat kayo sa inyong mga tungkulin bilang mga mahistrado ng Kataas taasang Hukuman ng ating bansa. Sana ay ipagpatuloy ninyo ang inyong paglaban sa ano pa mang katiwalian sa ating gobyerno na siyang nagiging dahilan kaya hanggang ngayon ay naghihirap pa rin ang ating mahal na bayang Pilipinas. May God Bless you All!