SC junks Syjuco plea to cite Drilon in contempt
MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday denied the plea of former Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco, Jr. to cite Senator Franklin Drilon in contempt of court in connection with the just-resolved petitions against the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers.
Aside from being moot, since the high court already ruled on the PDAF cases last Nov. 19, Syjuco's plea "failed to substantiate his allegations" that Drilon violated the SC temporary restraining order (TRO) on the disbursement of the remaining PDAF of legislators under the 2013 national budget, when he spearheaded the realignment of the Senate's PDAF covered by the halt order.
Drilon filed Senate Resolution No. 302 for the realignment of the upper chamber's remaining PDAF to fund the national government's calamity response, and solicited the support of other senators.
"The Court found that petitioner failed to substantiate his allegations on the supposed violation of the TRO and, thus, for being insufficient in form and substance, the petition merits outright dismissal.
"Moreover, the Court finds that the petition has been mooted by its decision in the PDAF cases rendered last Nov. 19, 2013," the SC said.
Syjuco's plea for Drilon to be disbarred or suspended from law practice was also thumbed down by the high court.
The Nov. 19 ruling struck down the PDAF, also known as "pork barrel" fund, and other lump sum discretionary funds as unconstitutional.