SC stops release of ‘pork’, Malampaya fundsBy Jamie Elona, and Kristine Angeli Sabillo
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order against the release of the remaining Priority Development Assistance Funds, or pork barrel, allocated to members of Congress under the General Approriations Act of 2013.
High Court spokesman Theodore Te made the announcement following an en banc session conducted earlier in the day.
Along with the PDAF, the Supreme Court also stopped the release of Malampaya funds.
“ . . . But not for the purpose of financing energy resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the government,” Te said, adding that the order shall take effect immediately until further orders from the court.
An oral argument is set on October 8 at 2 p.m.
A group headed by former councilor Greco Belgica filed a petition asking the high court to stop the release of PDAF, also known as “pork barrel”.
Belgica said the “pork barrel” was illegal and should go directly to institutions for the service of the poor.
In a supplemental petition, Belgica asked the high tribunal to also issue a TRO against the Malampaya funds, saying it should not go straight to the Office of the President without Congress approval.
Government has been earning from the Malampaya gas field off Palawan.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer in July said whistleblowers claimed that at least P900 million from Malampaya royalties went to a bogus non-government organization operated by Janet Lim-Napoles.