MANILA (UPDATED) - Quezon City 2nd district Rep. Winston Castelo opposed Tuesday the proposal of Senate President Franklin Drilon to realign the suspended releases from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for 2013 to augment the calamity fund for earthquake victims.
The 2013 PDAF releases were ordered suspended by President Aquino and became the subject of a restraining order by the Supreme Court, which is now deliberating petitions assailing the legality of the PDAF system.
"I don't think that's acceptable. Sa accounting, that's money allocated for 2013. If we lump them as savings, we will have same problem as [Disbursement Acceleration Program] because DAP is considered as savings in the executive. Subject of funds being discussed in the SC, earmarked po yun. Reserved po yun for a specific purpose. The best way to treat is to wait for SC decision whether they consider that unconstitutional," he said.
Castelo said some of the PDAF may be donated to quake victims, but pointed out that the money was already earmarked for the constituents of congressmen.
"We could donate some but not its entirety. Meron nang specific allocation. Meron na for scholars and training of my constituents," he said.
On late Monday, Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos delivered a privilege speech that sought a joint resolution realigning the unused PDAF to earthquake assistance.
Castelo also raised the specter of filing an impeachment complaint against the justices of the Supreme Court over its ruling on the PDAF.
"May constituent who approached me to emphasize the gravity of the problem. He was thinking of filing an impeachment against justices who issued a [temporary restraining order]. I cannot endorse unless there's an adverse decision on the SC. We appeal to the SC to see the light na kahit sectional, i-limit ang release sa mga 3 concerns--scholarships, medical and training. I'm even amenable to the idea we lump it sa implementing agencies. Similar to what we have done sa 2014 budget. Nilump na doon, if that will be one of the conditions as long as medical needs are not compromised."
Castelo added: "We have to study the matter (of impeachment). Anybody, not just me, can endorse the impeachment complaint. Anybody may be asked to file an impeachment...."