Osmeña to Lacson: Challenge lump sum issue before SC
SENATOR Serge Osmeña III urged former senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday to bring to the Supreme Court the issue of lump sums or discretionary funds in the 2015 budget, which the latter readily accepted.
Osmeña said Lacson, who exposed Monday that this year’s budget contained P424 billion lump sums, should raise the issue to the SC, saying it violated the SC’s ruling against the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) also known as pork barrel funds.
“Under the SC ruling, yes. That’s a lump sum item,” the senator said in a phone patch interview when asked if the reported P424-billion lump sum in the budget was illegal.
“They violated the SC ruling by not itemizing it in the budget. Dapat na itemize yan sa budget,” he said.
Osmeña confirmed the existence of lump sum appropriations in the 2015 budget, which he said was a violation of the Court’s decision, which declared the pork barrel funds unconstitutional.
In this year’s budget, he said, senators have the “right to identify up to P200 million,” some can identify up to P2 billion worth of projects.
“Meron dyan may P1 billion, meron dyan P2B. Just don’t ask me to identify anymore, ha?” said Osmeña.
He said the only way to solve this issue is for Lacson to challenge it before the SC.
“Well Senator Lacson should bring it up to the SC and question it. Walang mangyayari kung magpapaimbestiga tayo sa Senate o sa House. Walang mangyayari dyan,” he said.
Reacting to Osmeña’s challenge to bring the issue before the SC, Lacson said: “I will. That’s the end state.”
“I’m actually filing a petition for prohibition before the SC on the issues that I have exposed. We’re just completing the documentation,” the former senator said in a text message to reporters.
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