Korte Suprema, pinigil ang pagpapalabas ng natitirang PDAF para sa taong 2013

admin   •   September 10, 2013   •   2301

Nitong Martes, sa boto ng 15 mahistrado ng Korte Suprema, ipinatitigil ang pagre-release ng natitira pang pork barrel na nakapaloob sa 2013 national budget. (UNTV News)

Nitong Martes, sa boto ng 15 mahistrado ng Korte Suprema, sa pamamagitang ng isang TRO ipinatitigil ang pagre-release ng natitira pang pork barrel na nakapaloob sa 2013 national budget. (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Pinigil ng Korte Suprema ang pagpapalabas ng natitira pang Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) ng mga mambabatas na nakapaloob sa 2013 national budget.

Isang temporary restraining order ang inisyu ng Supreme Court at pinagbabawalan ang Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National Treasurer at Executive Secretary na magpalabas pa ng pondo mula sa pork barrel ng mga senador at kongresista.

Sakop din ng TRO ang release ng Malampaya funds.

Ayon kay Supreme Court Spokesperson Atty. Theodore Te, papayagan lamang ang pagpapalabas ng pondo ng Malampaya kung gagamitin ito para sa energy resource development and exploitation programs at mga proyekto ng gobyerno.

Base sa datos ng DBM, P24.79 billion ang nakalaan sa PDAF ng mga mambabatas ngayong taon, P11.58 billion dito ang nai-release na, habang P13.21 billion pa ang natitira.

Bukod sa inilabas na TRO, inatasan din ng korte ang senado, kamara at opisina ng pangulo na sagutin ang inihaing mga petisyon sa loob ng sampung araw.

Nagtakda rin ang Supreme Court ng oral arguments sa October 8 upang talakayin ang kaso.

Tatlong magkakahiwalay na petisyon ang nakahain ngayon sa Korte Suprema na humihiling na ideklarang labag sa saligang-batas ang sistema ng pork barrel at tuluyan na itong i-abolish.

Kabilang sa mga petitioner ang natalong senatorial candidate na si Greco Belgica, Social Justice Society at si dating Boac, Marinduque Mayor Pedrito Nepomuceno.

Samantala, iginagalang naman ng Malakanyang at ng mga mambabatas ang inilabas na TRO ng Supreme Court.

Ayon kay Sen. Chiz Escudero, “May TRO man o wala, naka-hold na sa amin.”

“We will abide to the SC TRO,” pahayag naman ni Senate Pres. Franklin Drilon.

Ayon naman kay ABAKADA Party-list Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz, “OK lang na i-TRP basta ma-address yung scholarships kasi magpa-finals na ngayon.”

Magugunitang una nang sinuspinde ng Palasyo ang pagpapalabas ng pork barrel ng mga mambabatas. (Roderic Mendoza / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

Senate panel approves COA, Ombudsman proposed 2022 budget

Maris Federez   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday approved the proposed budget of two constitutional bodies for 2022.

Senator Sonny Angara called the budget deliberation of the Commission on Audit and the Office of the Ombudsman the shortest so far for this year, as the panel gave its approval under 15 minutes of the hearing.

The committee hearing for COA’s proposed budget of P14.4 billion only took 10 minutes and was soon endorsed for the nod of the plenary.

“No questions on the part of the Chair. […] this is probably the shortest budget meeting of this 2022 budget,” Angara said during the hearing.

Indicated in COA’s proposed budget is its request for additional funds for personnel services for the third tranche of the pay adjustments under the salary standardization law for government employees.

COA also requested a budget increase for the construction of provincial satellite auditing offices and provision for the operational expenses of these branches.

“We have written a letter to the committee asking for additional budgetary support primarily on the MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) […] and possibly if the budget is flexible enough, maybe additional capital outlay,” said COA chairperson Michael Aguinaldo.

COA has, so far, completed the construction of 54 satellite offices, and 17 more under construction.

Meanwhile, it only took the Senate panel 13 minutes to finish the hearing of the P3.9 billion budget of the Office of the Ombudsman that was recommended by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Ombudsman Samuel Martires appealed for additional funding for its operational budget that was cut by almost half by the DBM.

“We’re not asking too much. If it will be hard for the Senate to give us the proposed budget for 2022, then we just would like to request that at least the budget that was given to us for 2021 be retained,” Martires said.

The Senate is currently on recess and is expected to resume on November 8 wherein senators are expected to start the deliberation of the national budget in the plenary. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Doctors group urges Duterte to reverse order barring Cabinet members from attending Senate hearing

Maris Federez   •   October 11, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — A group of doctors appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to reverse his order barring  Cabinet members from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s hearing on the alleged anomalous procurement of COVID-19 supplies.

The group wants the Senate hearing to continue the hearing, questioning why the Department of Health (DOH) transferred the said procurement to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

This, despite the earlier clarification made by the Commission on Audit that there was no overpricing in the procurement of COVID-19 supplies and that the said government transaction went through careful inspection.

“Kung bakit ipinasa ng Department of Health ang pagbili nung mga protective equipment na ito sa Department of Budget (and Management), sa DBM. ‘Yun pa lang hindi ma-explain, kase ang ipinapasa lang po talaga sa DBM ay yung mga administrative. ‘Yung mga may kinalaman sa administrative part which means yung mga office supplies, ang mga protective equipment, definitely this is a health. This should actually belong to the Department of Health,” said the group’s president, Dr. Maricar Limpin.

The group also defended the manner of questioning of some senators on the resource persons, saying that there was no bullying that was taking place during the hearing.

“Sa paningin ko yun ay part ng pagku-cross examine, at different personalities have different way of trying to get information. Whatever form na ginagawa nila in order to extract the truth, kase hindi siya maliit na pera. Forty-two billion. At napunta po iyong deal na iyan, yung kontrata, sa isang maliit na kumpanya,” Dr. Anthony Leachon, former president of PCP, said.

The group appeals to the Senate to finish the hearing on the said issue and forward the result of their investigation to the Department of Justice or the Office of the Ombudsman for appropriate action.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the administration will no longer allow Cabinet members and other officials in the Executive Department to attend any succeeding Senate hearings.

“In fact, they appeared before 12 hearings of the Senate and the House and he only said itigil na iyan, after 12. Kasi wala namang bago pong tinatanong at walang bagong sagot,” Roque said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero eye Senate comeback in 2022

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Antique Representative and House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda has formally declared her bid to return to the Senate as she filed her certificate of candidacy in the 2022 national elections.

Legarda filed her COC around 8 a.m. on Friday when the period for the COC filing started.

She will be seeking national post under the Nationalist People’s Coalition.

In a statement, Legarda expressed confidence that her political experiences will be able to help in solving the climate crisis, pandemic and other issues hounding the country.

Aside from Legarda, Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero also formalized his plan to seek a comeback to the upper chamber.

Escudero’s COC was filed by his lawyer George Garcia.

He is also running under the banner of Nationalist People’s Coalition.

Escudero served as senator from 2007 to 2019 before winning the gubernatorial seat in the previous election.

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