• SC poised to rule pork as unconstitutional

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    THE majority or maybe even all the Supreme Court justices will declare the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) unconstitutional at its en banc session scheduled on Tuesday, when the magistrates vote on a draft ruling that abolishes the pork barrel funds of lawmakers, a highly reliable source told The Manila Times.

    The source told The Times that the justices were inclined to concur with the decision drafted by Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, the designated ponente or writer of the decision.

    Most of the magistrates, the source added, are convinced that all PDAF allocations for 2013 are illegal.

    Last September, the Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping Malacañang from releasing the PDAF for 2013.

    The TRO covers the Department of Budget and Management, the National Treasurer, the Executive Secretary, or any person acting under their authority.

    The source said the justices are poised to make this restraining order permanent.

    They will vote on Bernabe’s ponencia tomorrow morning, and in the afternoon hear the oral arguments on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

    CDF, insertions too
    The source said the ruling will not only cover the PDAF but its predecessor, the Countrywide Development Fund (CDF), since the decision declares all the provisions of past and present laws that allow the disbursement of pork barrel funds unconstitutional.

    Besides PDAF and CDF, the tribunal is also inclined to declare congressional insertions as illegal and shoot down the provision that says “And for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President” covered by Section 8 of Presidential Decree 910 which was intended to finance the infrastructure projects under PD 1869, particularly Section 12 under the non delegation of legislative powers clause.

    Another Supreme Court insider told The Times that a number of justices were of a mind to stop fund releases through the Presidential Social Fund under the phrase “to finance the priority infrastructure development projects.” The magistrates share the belief that these funds should be returned to the national coffers.

    The source said the justices are also poised to rule as illegal the use of the Malampaya Funds under the phrase “for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President” under Section 8 of Presidential Decree No. 910 covered by the Special Allotment Release Order.

    The source said the imminent ruling renders permanent the TRO issued on September 10. It clips the powers of the Budget department, the National Treasurer, the Executive Secretary, or any persons acting under their authority from releasing the remaining PDAF allocated to members of Congress under the General Appropriations Act of 2013.

    The expected Supreme Court ruling tomorrow against PDAF, DAP, Malampaya fund use as pork and congressional insertions would mean the defeat of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte in the case filed against them by concerned citizens.

    Samson Alcantara of the Social Justice Society, former Manila Councilor Greco Belgica, former Congressman Augusto Syjuco and former Boac, Marinduque Mayor Pedrito Nepomuceno had petition the Supreme Court to do away with the PDAF.

    Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te had earlier said the TRO against PDAF “does not affect the General Appropriations Act because it does not annul any provision of the GAA.”

    The TRO order, he explained, did not violate Congress’ “power of the purse” but merely “maintains the status quo” until a verdict is reached.

    In August, President Benigno Aquino 3rd announced the scrapping of the PDAF following the exposure of the P10-billion scam that saw pork funds funneled to fake non-government organizations, particularly those said to have been created and controlled by Janet Lim Napoles.

    Senators last week said they were willing to give up whatever is left of their pork barrel for this year as long as the money is used for the relief and rehabilitation of areas devastated by Super typhoon Yolanda.

    If the High Court stops the release of Malampaya funds, it will frustrate the President’s plan to tap the gas fund to solve the power crisis in disaster-torn Visayas.

    Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla has suggested the use of the Malampaya funds to improve the power supply in typhoon-hit areas.

    He that said that almost 100 towers “were crumpled, not just toppled, across Visayas.”

    Aquino said he will look into the proposal especially with Visayas facing a dark Christmas due to the extensive damage suffered by distribution facilities and transmission lines.

    However, he noted that the government has to make sure that all laws are followed.

    Since Aquino assumed office in 2010, the government has used the Malampaya fund for 10 projects worth P15 billion, according to Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte.

    WITH A REPORT FROM CATHERINE VALENTE

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    22 Comments

    1. kaya nag papalimos mga tao sa congressman pra sa gamot / medicines kc walang medisina sa ospital n free sa ibang bansa ang hospitalization ay free, medicines ay free.. nasa congressman ang pera wala sa ospital..sana ang congresman ay mambabatas lang ndi doctor..ilagay ang pera sa Health, ang mga scholars at school bldgs. sa education ndi sa mga congressman..ang mga kalsada at tolay sa isang Govt. consultant ndi sa DPWH dahil ang DPWH ay taga gawa lamang sa mga projects..at matinding privet at Govt. accountancy..e abilish yang COA yan ay corrupt institution..tama na sa mga govt officials ang salary at allowances..wag ng pahawakin ng pera..

    2. If this is unconstitutional, what were these judges doing all these years that this is being implimented,are they all just washing their hands now ?

      • The same cannot be decided by the high tribunal unless there is a strong heed for them to take on this issue. You cannot just put the blame in the SC because supposedly these funds are created for noble purposes and for the advancement of the Filipino people as the case may be. Lift your middle finger to those politicians who abused their power and corrupt the system.

    3. In the first place all these PDAP,DAP or CDF considered them as pork barrel. Law makers are not supposed to be involved on these, they should only receive salary and allownaces. No dipping of their hand on any projects nvolved. They are elected to craft or revised the law no more no less.

    4. I’m crossing my fingers that the Supreme Court will do the right thing and declare all forms of pork barrel unconstitutional. I’m just wondering why the Manila Times published it this early. I hope it isn’t a bum steer!

    5. to all justices of the supreme court, please be the hero we needed most at this time. ngayon pa man…thank you!!

    6. Miguel Doromal on

      Good news at last!

      Now, the budget for rehab for Eastern and Western Visayas will be placed under the agencies like DPWH, DOH, DSWD, etc…

      And these crocs must not be allowed to intervene or interfere with the what and where’s of such projects being planned by the agencies. They should deal direct with the governors and mayors!

      No more dirty hands of senatongs and tongressmen involved!

    7. Raymond Stenhouse on

      Finally the Filipino money will be used to help Filipinos and not kept by crafty fake illegal schemes. The rest of the world will be so happy that corruption has been curtailed from the rampant selfishness of those in power. Foreign Governments will also appreciate that the Philippines can contribute to its own diaster relief and not expect the UN to pay it all.

    8. For me they should all go to jail since they have been doing this for decades until now that they got busted.

    9. Ignorantia leyes est minimum escusat. All people are supposed to know the law.
      Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. We in this
      country must observe the rule of law at all times and that no none is above the
      law. This noynoying president seems not to respect the law anymore. He thinks
      that he can get whatever he wants regardless. If the Supreme Court will declare
      as unconstitutional the DAP & PDAP, it is only then that in this country the rule
      of law still prevail.

    10. If the PDAF, DAP, CDF and others are unconstitutional why only the SC is ruling for it. It should have been done during the first implantation.

      It’s all shame to all!

    11. Thank God the majority of the judges prevailed over the stained CJ Sereno. BS Aquino’s hold on the Supreme Court must be thwarted, as he and his tuta Congress cannot be relied upon to work in the best interest of the Filipino people. Shame on you Pnoy and your ilk.

    12. The vote for the unconstitutionality of Pork could be a landslide. Hopefully Sereno and Leonen will set aside their being PNoy hence men and women for the good of the country and the rule of law. We will know tomorrow, meanwhile how about the DAP? This kind of animal is another of those inventions of the the Drillon, Abad, PNoy trip. worse than the PDAF.

    13. I do not think that it is right for anybody to preempt the SC ruling on the PDAF until it says so. Who created this program anyway, and why was it tolerated, and no outcry since then, until now? therefore the criticism is unfair to the present administration.

      • Darewin Ocampo on

        PDAF was created by Cory during her administration. While her son Pnoy created DAP to justify the PDAF increases that he is being accused of giving to those who voted yes for the impeachment of CJ Corona.

    14. Kayo ang Boss Ko! on

      Hwag nyo ng gamitin ang current typhoon, please, palusot nanaman yan mga makapal ang mukha!
      Plan other things to resolve that crisis…tapos!

      • Arlene Bermudez on

        You’re right, nakakita ng justification ang mga corrupt para tuloy ang ligaya. Sana maisip ito ng mga SC justices. Hindi naman mawawala yung pera para sa pork barrel itatama lang ang paggamit sa pamamagitan ng pag-a-allocate nito sa mga line agencies at di na padadaanin sa mga lawmakers na ang talagang function ay LAWMAKING.
        Very obvious at malinaw naman na without pork barrel ay napakalaking tulong at benepisyo sa bayan. Hindi na kailangan ni Kim Henares na pigain ang mga kawawang taxpayers.
        So Justices of the Supreme Court, this could be your best moment to help the country. Don’t waste the opportunity.

    15. if the supreme court finds these unconstitutional, then i am almost sure that we won’t see the same faces again in both congress and the senate come next elections. some people in both houses are simply after the pork barrel anyway and nothing else. moreover, do we really expect them to run for public office for the purpose of helping, considering the monthly pay they get as legislators? i doubt it. they are just in for the “ride” at the expense of juan dela cruz’s taxes.