Aquino’s ex-ally asks SC to order immediate release of P500B IRA to LGUs
MANILA, Philippines—A former staunch ally of President Benigno Aquino petitioned the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, to compel the national government to immediately release over P500 billion in budget, which has been withheld from the local government units (LGUs) for years.
In a petition for mandamus and prohibition, Batangas Representative Hermilando Mandanas also sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the government from “misappropriating” about P60.75 billion in Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for 2012.
“If the unconstitutional release of the P60.75 billion is not restrained by the Supreme Court, then again the misuse of local funds for national projects will go unabated,” Mandanas argued in his petition.
Speaking with reporters, the Batangas lawmaker said the government has been “illegally” using the budget for the LGUs since 1992 which, by his own reckoning, accumulated to over P500 billion.
Mandanas claimed the President ordered his removal as chair of the House ways and means committee because of his advocacy to prompt Malacañang to order the automatic release of IRA to local officials.
“I thought this new administration wants to take a straight path. But in reality, they still want the old system of governance,” he said.
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