Sereno hails lawmakers’ acceptance of PDAF defeat
MANILA, Philippines—Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Thursday said she is humbled by the decision of both the Senate and the House of Representatives that they will no longer appeal the high court’s ruling declaring as unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or commonly known as pork barrel even if it may have caused inconvenience and pain.
“I am humbled that representatives of political branches of government are accepting that we, in the Judiciary, have to discharge our constitutional role in interpreting the Constitution despite the fact that it may have caused inconvenience and pain to some of our political leaders,” Sereno said in her speech during the 38th anniversary of the Philippine National Prayer Breakfast Foundation Inc.
Voting 14-0, the high court last week declared PDAF as unconstitutional.
The high court also nullifies “all legal provisions of past and present Congressional Pork Barrel laws, such as the previous PDAF and Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) articles and the various Congressional Insertions, which authorize/d legislators-whether individually or collectively organized into committees—to intervene, assume or participate in any of the various post-enactment stages of the budget execution.”
At the same time, the high court also nullified the laws that provided lawmakers lump-sum allocations to fund their chosen projects.
“All informal practices of similar import and effect, which the Court similarly deems to be acts of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of discretion,” are also declared void.
The high court added that PDAF can no longer be adopted by the government by any name or form.
Sereno said she does not know what the effect of their decision on the PDAF but “it is up for our people to monitor and our political leaders to work out.”
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