MANILA - Senate President Franklin Drilon assured the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) will not make a comeback in the 2015 budget.
In an interview, Drilon said, “Wala pong maisisingit na PDAF sa taong ito. Ating titiyaking na walang PDAF o kahalintulad nito sa 2015 budget. Wala na ang PDAF sa Senado. Tayo po ang nanguna diyan. Inalis namin ang PDAF sa current budget. Asahan po ninyo na sa 2015 budget, wala pa rin po ang PDAF.”
The PDAF was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. In its decision, the high court also warned lawmakers on reviving the pork barrel in another form or name.
Lawmakers will be back to work on July 28 when President Benigno Aquino III delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The 2015 budget will be on top of the list of things to do for lawmakers.
“Pagdating ng Hulyo, ng SONA, the President will define his legislative agenda. Ang budget po ay ibibigay sa Kongreso one week after the SONA. Tatalakayin namin iyan at tatapusin namin yan bago matapos ang taon, notwithstanding na kulang kami ng tatlo,” he said.
Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. are detained at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame after two divisions of the Sandiganbayan found basis to proceed with their plunder and graft cases.
The third division, headed by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, has yet to review the case against Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
It is up to the Office of the Ombudsman to file motions for suspension against the three.
“Automatic po ang suspsension ng mga akusado once mag-file ng petition to suspend them ang Ombudsman. Walang gagawin ang Sandiganbayan kundi i-suspend sila,” he said.
He said the vice chairmen of the committees the three senators are handling will take over their responsibilities.
The Sandiganbayan will automatically issue a preventive suspension, but which should not be more than 90 days.