SC to COA: Answer plea vs P6-B PDAF projects
MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has directed the Commission on Audit (COA) to answer a petition that seeks to order the commission to issue notices of disallowance on some P6 billion worth of projects under the now-defunct and constitutionally infirm Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) system, also known as "pork barrel."
In a notice, the high court directed CoA chair Maria Gracia Pulido-Tan and CoA Director Susana Garcia of the Special Audits Office to file their comment on the petition for mandamus filed by the group of former Manila Councilor Greco Belgica, one of the petitioners against the "pork barrel" system, within a period of 10 days.
Belgica's group urged the high court to order the CoA to issue notices of disallowances on projects funded by "pork barrel" covered by the agency's special audit on the usage of lawmakers' PDAF from 2007 to 2009.
Petitioners claim they already formally wrote the CoA to fulfill its mandate of issuing the disallowances so that the misused public funds may be returned to government coffers, to no avail.
Petitioners lament Pulido-Tan and the CoA's inaction, leading them to file the plea with the high court.
Petitioners said the CoA's inaction on the issue is tantamount to reneging on its constitutional mandate.
The high court struck down the PDAF system as unconstitutional in 2013.