SC to VP Sara: Answer petition on constitutionality of OVP’s P125M CF
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered Vice President Sara Duterte to respond to the petition challenging the constitutionality of the Office of the Vice President’s P125-million confidential fund (CF) in 2022.
In a two-page notice made public Monday, the High Tribunal also directed Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin and Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman to comment on the matter.
SC has not yet acted on the petition, as it first wants to get the respondents’ side, which is part of the procedure.
“Acting on the petition for certiorari, the court resolved, without giving due course to the petition, to require the respondents to comment thereon within 10 days from notice hereof,” read the notice of SC.
Petitioners, led by former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Christian Monsod, not only want SC to declare the transfer of P125 million to the OVP in 2022 as unconstitutional but also want an order to return the money to the treasury department.
They also want the justices to order the Vice President to return the money to the treasury department.
Once the comments are submitted, the petitioners have five days to reply.
The controversy on the CF started when opposition lawmakers said Duterte had spent P125 million in CIF funds in 2022, even if her office had not allocated such funds under that year’s General Appropriations Act.
They said Duterte’s office spent the amount in just 11 days in December 2022.
Eventually, Congress dismissed OVP’s request for P500 million in such funding for 2024.
It also rejected another proposed P150 million CF for the Department of Education (DepEd), which Duterte also heads, in the budget for next year.