By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, 11Sept2013 – The Supreme Court (SC) may have issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the release of this year’s remaining pork barrel but the senate has already been withholding it, following President Benigno Aquino III’s announcement.
Sen. Francisco ‘Chiz’ Escudero, Chair of the Committee on Finance on Tuesday explained that all pork releases will be suspended while an investigation is being conducted into the alleged funds misuse.
In an en banc decision also on Tuesady, the SC stopped the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from further disbursing pork barrel and Malampaya funds for this year.
“Since the announcement of the President and the Senate President as well, we have not been processing nor endorsing any PDAF release request for the second semester,” Escudero said.
He further explained that for a fact, even the balance left for the first semester will no longer be released; he also said that he expects the senate committee on rules to tackle all the proposed measures related to the abolition of pork barrel in the next few weeks.
“This is the third time that the SC has ruled on PDAF disbursement,” Escudero said.
“Even if there is no understanding in Congress to withhold PDAF prior to the TRO, we also have no choice but to do as the court rules,” he added.
Escudero has previously mentioned that the pork barrel should be abolished in general and that the Congress should limit itself to the enactment of the national budget and the Executive to its implementation.
This was all stated in the first measure he filed in the senate asking for the abolition of pork barrel or priority develop assistance funds (PDAF )through Senate Resolution No. 193. (PNA)