• SC not seen as declaring pork barrel unlawful

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    The Supreme Court will be hard pressed to declare the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as unlawful because of its two previous rulings declaring PDAF as constitutional, members of the House opposition bloc said on Friday.

    House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora of San Juan and House Deputy Minority Leader Antonio Tinio of Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list made the comments in light of the High Court’s decision to freeze the release of the lawmakers’ PDAF allocation for 2013,

    The Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) based on the petition filed by Social Justice System.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd and the House of Representatives have removed the P25-billion PDAF allocation under the proposed P2.2.68 trillion budget in light of the government probe on the PDAF scam that benefited fake nongovernment organizations run by Janet Lim Napoles.

    “I think it is going to be difficult for the Supreme Court to get away from its previous two rulings that PDAF is constitutional. It is just a question of determining whether PDAF can be used for the purposes that it was originally intended,” Zamora told reporters.

    He was referring to the 1994 case of Philconsa vs. Enriquez in 1994 when the PDAF was still called the Countrywide Development Fund.

    “The legality of congressional and presidential pork is not really the main question. This goes beyond legality. PDAF is more political rather than a legal or constitutional question. We are at a point where the public is demanding the abolition of PDAF and the Presidential discretionary funds,” Tinio added.

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