• SC junks pleas against regular, added budgets

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    The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday threw out two petitions filed by former Iloilo congressman Augusto Syjuco Jr. that had challenged the proposed 2015 national budget and the 2014 supplemental budget for “lack of merit.”

    Syjuco’s first petition challenged the National Expenditure Program in the proposed General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2015 for containing “lump-sum funds.”

    His second petition questioned the P22.47-billion supplemental budget for 2014 for allegedly containing appropriations earlier appropriated via the constitutionally infirm Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

    The first petition, the High Court said, was premature because “it does not allege any specific expenditure, fund release or any executive act or issuance.”

    It added that Syjuco had failed to cite any injury to him or to taxpayers, in general, “but has only posed hypothetical or feigned problems, or mere academic questions.”

    “The court also stated [in its decision]that it does not render advisory opinions,” said the SC Public Information Office chief, lawyer Theodore Te.

    On the second petition, the SC said Syjuco did not present substantial grounds to have the supplemental budget stricken down, but merely cited the SC’s rulings on the cases involving the DAP and PDAF.

    “In both decisions, the court had not passed on the constitutionality of a supplemental budget,” Te said.

    The DAP and PDAF were both declared by Supreme Court unconstitutional.

    The court’s ruling on PDAF or pork barrel became final and executory the other week.

    The SC is yet to act on a motion filed by Malacañang on the DAP.

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    1 Comment

    1. victor m. hernandez on

      I guess SC’s inaction on the MR of Malacanang on DAP means that effectively the existing SC ruling on DAP still stand. That is the reason, I surmise, that supplemental budget have been requested, and was approved. All within the legal and constitutional bounds, and aligned with the SC ruling on DAP.