• Supreme Court hears pork arguments today

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    Supporters and opponents of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) face off on Tuesday at the Supreme Court, and the public can follow their arguments through live streaming on the Internet.

    The Court en banc will hear the oral arguments starting at 2 p.m.

    Lawyers for President Benigno Aquino 3rd, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad will defend the legality of the pork barrel system.

    Questioning its legality are the Social Justice Society of Samson Alcantara, former Boac, Marinduque mayor Pedrito Nepomuceno and former Manila councilor Greco Belgica.

    The Court will also listen to arguments on the Malampaya fund, part of which was also allegedly funneled to non-government groups owned by Janet Lim Napoles.

    The petitions were filed following reports that Napoles connived with several lawmakers and government officials to pocket pork barrel and Malampaya funds.

    Also expected to attend is Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Grace Tan, who will discuss the commission’s findings on the use of the lawmakers’ PDAF.

    It is the first and probably the only time the Supreme Court has allowed the public to listen in on its proceedings via the Internet.

    The Court’s spokesman Theodore Te, has said the tribunal approved the live streaming of proceedings only in pork barrel case.

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