The petitioners’ case vs pork barrel

Rappler.com
Rappler talks to Raymond Fortun, legal counsel of the petitioners against the pork barrel.

MANILA, Philippines – Rappler talks to Raymond Fortun, legal counsel of the petitioners against the pork barrel.

On Tuesday, October 8, the first day of the Supreme Court oral arguments, lawyers of the petitioners urged the Supreme Court justices to strike down the congressional and presidential pork barrel for violating separation of powers, and checks and balances. Petitioners said the pork barrel system undermines the power of the executive by allowing lawmakers to identify projects and interfere with implementation after the passage of the budget bill.

In response, Justice Antonio Carpio says the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the 2013 budget law is unconstitutional at face-value. Confirming the lawyers’ statements, Carpio says the PDAF system makes lawmakers’ endorsement of projects mandatory.


For her part, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno went through the evolution of the pork barrel, showing how the PDAF in the 2013 budget law turned into a scheme prone to abuse.

The arguments concluded with Sereno saying petitioners must establish there was a systems failure and a constitutional basis for the court to intervene. Justice Marvic Leonen says the petitioners and the public need to understand the court can’t solve the problem alone.

Fortun says the people can no longer rely on politicians, adding, “We simply cannot allow these people to continue making changes for us.” Fortun will share his insights into how the oral arguments could play out.

Watch the interview below.

– Rappler.com

 

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