Sara asks SC to dismiss petitions vs P125 M OVP confidential fund

Sara asks SC to dismiss petitions vs P125-M OVP confidential funds

/ 08:11 PM May 28, 2024

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Vice President Sara Duterte

MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Sara Duterte, through her counsel, has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to dismiss the petitions to declare the release of the P125 million confidential funds to the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in 2022 unconstitutional and void.

In a consolidated comment, Duterte, through former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza said the petitioners “simply made a blanket allegation that they are taxpayers or concerned citizens.”


The comment reads, “The petitions are mere apprehension and speculation about contingent funds or confidential funds, which does not constitute a justiciable controversy.”


Mendoza, in the comment, said that the petitioners failed to cite any actual case or controversy or show any injury or difficulty that they have encountered from the act they complained of.

He reminded petitioners that even if the SC is vested with judicial power, it does not follow that it will answer all judicial queries.

“The Court’s power is not unbridled authority to just review any claim of constitutional violation or grave abuse of discretion.To conclude, it is important to state that courts do not sit to adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest therein, however intellectually solid the problem may be,” the former solicitor general said.

He further stated that: “The mandate of the Honorable Court does not include the duty to answer all of life’s questions. No question, no matter how compelling or interesting, can be answered by this Court if it cannot be shown that there is an actual or antagonistic assertion of rights by one party against the other in a controversy wherein judicial intervention is unavoidable.”

Among the petitioners in the case are the groups of lawyers led by former Comelec Chairperson Christian Monsod, former presidential spokesperson Barry Gutierrez, retired SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Howard Calleja, the ACT Teachers Party list, and the Makabayan bloc of lawmakers in the House of Representatives.


Petitioners said the Office of the President’s release of the P125 million has no legal basis because there was no congressional appropriation for the Office of the Vice President in the 2022 General Appropriations Act, and the Executive branch is not authorized to pass its own budget outside of the appropriations law.

They said the release of the P125-million confidential fund violated Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution, which declares that the legislative power shall be vested in Congress.

They added that the provisions in appropriation laws on discretionary funds and lump sums must be subjected to strict interpretation, given that they are exceptions to Congress’s power regarding appropriations.

Petitioners added that the OVP’s request, receipt, and use of the said funds without Congressional authorization also violated Section 29 (1), Article VI of the Constitution, which states that no money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.

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Lastly, they asked the SC to declare the said funds “fully auditable” and, therefore, subject to rigorous auditing by COA for any signs of corruption and irregularities.

The petitions brought to three the number of such pleas challenging the confidentiality of the confidential funds before the SC.

TAGS: confidential funds, Sara Duterte

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