SC Justice amazed so much funds flowing into PDAF | Inquirer News

SC Justice amazed so much funds flowing into PDAF

/ 08:16 PM October 10, 2013

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court will issue a ruling on the legality of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) by November, said senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio who expressed surprised that so much funds are flowing into the congressional discretionary fund.

“This Court will issue a decision by November to give Congress time to digest or decide while crafting the 2014 budget,” Carpio said as the high court adjourned. Part 3 of the oral argument will be on Oct. 17.


During Thursday’s debate, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza urged the high court to partially lift the temporary restraining order so that the government can release the remaining 2013 PDAF for scholars and indigent sick people.


“We appeal in behalf of the scholars and indigent recipients of medical aide. They were not a party to any misuse and they are not a party to any corruption…Please give them the benefit of the doubt,” Jardeleza said.

But Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said if PDAF has been abolished, there is no need to lift a TRO.

Jardeleza admitted that PDAF was suspended only for soft projects.

Associate Justice Mariano Del Castillo asked Jardeleza if there are alternative funds that can be tapped other than PDAF.

“What about other sources of fund like the presidential social fund or the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office,” Del Castillo asked to which Jardeleza admitted it could be utilized as well.

“I do not know why you’re saying that they [those needing medical assistance] will die, PCSO has a program for indigent patients…President Social Fund must be billions. The President has a lot of savings in the social fund and other items can just be realigned. I am amazed that so much funds are flowing [into PDAF]…This [funds for scholars and medical assistance] is not a problem without a solution…It’s just a political will,” Carpio said.


On spending the Malampaya fund, the high court justices asked what is the constitutional basis of the law that allows the President to spend the Malampaya fund.

“But there is nothing that tells us how many energy projects or hydroelectric plants have been built,” Associate Justice Roberto Abad said adding that what the President has is “just a lump-sum amount.”

Under Presidential Decree 910, the Malampaya fund can be used for other purposes other than the energy programs.

But Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said “there is no purpose if the purpose is everything.”

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The high court will continue its debate on the legality of PDAF on October 17. Then, on October 22, the high court will hold a separate oral argument on the legality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

TAGS: Nation, News, PDAF, Supreme Court

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