SC ruling on PDAF a victory, says Belgica


Posted at Nov 19 2013 03:53 PM | Updated as of Nov 19 2013 11:56 PM


Belgica hoping SC will declare DAP unconstitutional too

MANILA -- Losing senatorial candidate Greco Belgica on Tuesday said the Supreme Court's ruling declaring the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) as unconstitutional is a victory.

"We are very thankful for this decision and for the court upholding the Constitution by declaring the PDAF unconstitutional," Belgica told ANC on Tuesday.

The petitions questioning the discretionary funds of Congress were filed by Belgica and another losing senatorial candidate, Samson Alcantara, and former Boac, Marinduque Mayor Pedrito Nepomuceno.

The SC on Tuesday voted 14-0 against the legality of the PDAF. Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco inhibited because his son is a member of the House of Representatives.

The high court also ruled that the Malampaya fund can only be used for energy-related projects.

Belgica said they are "very optimistic" that the SC will also declare the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional.

"Basically the DAP and PDAF are almost the same," he said, noting that these are both lump-sum and discretionary funds "whatever the name may be."

The government and critics of the DAP are facing off today in the oral arguments before the SC on the consolidated petitions of Belgica, former Iloilo Rep. Agusto Syjuco Jr. and lawyer Manuelito Luna.