PNoy allies told: Stop bullying SC

Posted at 08/07/14 3:05 PM

MANILA - The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan on Thursday said President Aquino will face more protests if the Supreme Court is bullied by the President's allies into taking back its ruling that the disbursement acceleration program (DAP) is unconstitutional.

In a statement, Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said the impeachment threats by Aquino allies against the Supreme Court over the judiciary development fund "is an obvious attempt to arm-twist the SC to change its decision on the DAP."

Reyes said he sees the House probe into the JDF as the implementation of the President's July14 speech "where he warned of using a third branch of government against the SC."

"The impeachment threats appear even more hypocritical and ridiculous when Aquino allies cry usurpation of congressional power over the P1.7 billion JDF while allowing Aquino to usurp congressional power in realigning P144 billion in DAP funds and controlling P237.5 billion in so-called savings," he said.

The Bayan official said lawmakers have forgotten that the President is accused of 116 counts of technical malversation in the two impeachment complaints.

He said the people will not allow a reversal of the SC decision that struck down as unconstitutional several parts of the DAP.

"Malacanang will face more protests if it continues to go down this road of vindictiveness. As the anniversary of the 'Million People March' vs pork draws near, we remind the Yellow Dictator where true power lies," he said.

In response, House justice committee vice-chairman and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Farinas said he actually agrees with the SC decision on the DAP.

"For the record, I am in agreement with the SC decision on the DAP case. I, as a member of the HOR, am thankful for its upholding the principle of the separation of powers and the power of the purse of Congress," he said.

"Precisely, I filed the bill to amend the JDF as the PD establishing it has resulted into an undue delegation of legislative power because the SC has expanded it to include any and all amounts of money that come into its hands. Worse, the SC has created funds other than the JDF, without any legal authority whatsoever, to collect, administer, appropriate and spends all these public money without appropriation made by law."

On Tuesday Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno skipped a congressional hearing on 2 bills changing the judiciary development fund, the alleged pork barrel of the judiciary.

In her letter, Sereno said the timing of the hearing was inappropriate.

The high court is now considering a motion for reconsideration filed by government on the DAP, which benefited some lawmakers.

The SC has also struck down as unconstitutional the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) or pork barrel of lawmakers.