- Posted September 10, 2013 by
Phl lawmakers rejoice over TRO
Although the TRO seems to have divided members of Congress, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the House of Representatives "will, of course, comply" with the SC ruling.
The high court ruling also barred any releases from the Malampaya Fund not related to national energy development efforts.
House’s independent bloc -- Representatives Martin Romualdez, Jose Atienza and Jonathan dela Cruz of Abakada -- welcomed the decision, saying it complemented their efforts to abolish the pork barrel.
Romualdez, Atienza and Dela Cruz are among the lawmakers seeking the abolition of pork barrel.
Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares also welcomed the ruling and said the “inclusion of (the) Malampaya funds, which amount to P132 billion now, in the TRO shows that presidential pork is no different from PDAF, which is only P25 billion, because by its nature it is a lump sum amount the disposition of which is subject solely to the discretion of the President.”
“This is not only prone to abuse and corruption but is also used in patronage politics to get votes, an institutionalized form of vote buying,” he said.
Colmenares said there is a possibility that the presidential pork barrel will be scrapped as well.
“We ask the Supreme Court to immediately decide to abolish the pork barrel system, so that it can immediately be rechanneled directly to basic social services so that it can address the basic needs of our people,” Colmenares said.
But Rep. Sherwin Tugna called the decision a "temporary setback” that would allow Congress to explain the "validity, reasonability and purpose of PDAF."
President Benigno Aquino III ordered the halt in releases of the remaining PDAF for this year after the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam became public and erupted into a full-blown crisis for his administration.
He ordered the PDAF abolished and for Congress to draw up stricter measures on spending government resources.