On SC ruling: Triumph of collective action

 

We welcome the SC ruling declaring the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) unconstitutional as a victory of the Filipino people’s collective action. It is a step in the right direction. Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) should be next to be declared illegal.

In a 14-0-1 ruling, the court declared as unconstitutional:

a) the entire 2013 PDAF Article;

b) all legal provisions of past and present Congressional Pork Barrel Laws, such as the previous PDAF and CDF Articles and the various Congressional Insertions, which authorize/d legislators – whether individually or collectively organized into committees – to intervene, assume, or participate in any of the various post-enactment stafes of the budget execution…such as … project identification, modification, fund release or fund realignment, unrelated to the power of congressional oversight;

c) all legal provisions of past and present Congressional Pork Barrel laws…which conferred personal, lump-sum allocations to legislators from which they are able to fund specific projects which they themselves determine;

d) all informal practices of similar effect, which the Court similarly deems to be acts of grave abuyse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of discretion; and

e) the phrases (1) ‘and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President’ under Section 8 of Presidential Decree No 910 and (2) ‘to finance the priority infrastructure development projects’ under Section 12 of PD 1869, as amended by PD 1993, for both failing the sufficient standard test in violation of the principle of non-delegability of legislative power.”

The ruling is a slap in the face of the Aquino administration, it sends a clear message to the Pork Barrel King, which has continually and consistently defended PDAF, DAP and other porky lump sum funds. They should stop the lies and immediately scrap all pork.

We condemn the use of the tragedy brought about by Typhoon Yolanda to justify continued use of pork and to try to preempt and circumvent the SC ruling. Since Day 1 of the tragedy, Aquino has tried to insert the justification of pork funds in his speeches in an effort to influence and preempt the court decision.

Yesterday, Aquino allies in Congress, in anticipation of the SC ruling has tried to salvage the 2013 pork by realigning it to so-called calamity funds, which are also lump-sum and discretionary in nature. These acts are pure evil.

Aquino is obviously in panic mode to save pork; he hurriedly went back to Manila today amidst relief operations in Visayas.

Let us gear up for more protests to totally scrap pork and to make accountable the Pork Barrel King and those who pocketed the illegal pork funds.

#AbolishPork!

 

Vencer is national chairperson of Anakbayan and spokesperson and former secretary general of Kabataan Partylist. He was national also chairperson of the League of Filipino Students. He is also a web designer and an internet enthusiast. He blogs at vencercrisostomo.com

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