Group urges SC to compel COA chief to release PDAF notice of disallowance
MANILA, Philippines – Former Manila City councilor Greco Belgica on Monday urged the Supreme Court to resolve the petition he and several others filed asking Commission on Audit Chair Grace Pulido-Tan to explain the non-issuance of notices of disallowance for more than P6 billion worth of pork barrel funds that were allegedly used to fund ghost projects.
In a two-page manifestation, Belgica asked the high court to resolve the petition even without the comments of Pulido-Tan and her co-respondent, Susana Garcia, the director of the COA’s special audit office saying the two have failed to file their comments within the prescribed time.
“Petitioners by counsel most respectfully manifest that Respondent’s time to file their respective comments to the petition has long expired. In consequence, the Honorable Court may consider them to have waived the filing of the same,” the petitioners said.
“Pursuant to Section 8, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, the Court, if it finds the allegations of the petition are true shall render judgment for such relief to which the petitioner or petitioners [is/are] entitled,” the manifestation added.
Aside from Belgica, the other petitioners are Bishop Reuben Abante of Bible Mode, Rev. Jose Gonzales of the Capitol Christian Leaders and Quintin Paredes San Diego.
Last July 2, the high court ordered Pulido-Tan and Garcia to answer the petition within 10 days.
They wanted the high court to compel Pulido-Tan to release the notice of disallowance covering P6.156 billion in PDAF funds covering the period 2007 to 2009.
But the COA chief has not made good on her promise to the high court during the oral arguments on the constitutionality of the pork barrel last year that she will issue the said notices.
The petitioners said Pulido Tan’s failure to issue or release the notices is a violation of the General Auditing Code and the COA’s own Revised Rules of Procedure.
The issuance of release of the notices of disallowance, according to the petitioners, would have pave the way for the expanded audit of the pork barrel system, which they added, should include the previous form of the pork barrel in the 1990s, the Countrywide Development Fund.
In its special audit report last year, the COA has found 772 projects funded by PDAF worth P6.156 billion and implemented by 82 non-government organizations questionable.
Of the 82 NGOs, only 10 were linked to businesswoman and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.