For the record: Has the PDAF been abolished?
Palace admits only Congress can abolish PDAF
MANILA - Has the pork barrel been abolished?
Malacañang acknowledged that it is only Congress that can repeal or abolish the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) since it is already included in the 2013 budget passed by Congress.
What the President announced before, the Palace said, was a mere policy statement stating his call to have the pork abolished starting in the 2014 budget.
"Klaro tayo doon, na at least for 2014, we have been working with the leaders in the House and in the Senate on how implement particularly 'yung abolition of the law or at least that item in the GAA that provides for the PDAF," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
"The other part of it is, the allocation for PDAF in 2013 is already a law. That's why the President said: suspend releases from it."
The Palace was also asked to reconcile statements of the President calling for the pork's abolition and the suspension of the releases for the remaining 2013 PDAF vis-à-vis the government's wish to have a partial lifting of the TRO on the PDAF.
Valte explained that the request for the TRO is not for the entire 2013 PDAF but only for releases for educational and medical assistance.
Valte said these are "legitimate needs" of the people that need to be funded.
"The request for the partial lifting of the temporary restraining order was only… for the remaining allocation of PDAF in 2013. Only that portion that affects scholars and those who need medical assistance," she said.