Pork barrel's constitutionality questioned

Manila, Philippines --- Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza yesterday called for a review of the constitutionality of the pork barrel system in Congress to clear the air as to the legality of the distribution of huge government funds to legislative offices.

Atienza had earlier dared his congressional colleagues not to touch their share of the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund now the subject of alleged multi-billion peso disbursement irregularities.

Although not a lawyer, Atienza said he has strong misgivings over the legality and constitutionality of the PDAF, popularly known as the pork barrel, because the same people approve and allocate the funds.

Interviewed over the weekend, Atienza vowed to pursue a legal battle against pork barrel even as he declared he won't use a single centavo of the P70-million PDAF share of his office.

Last week, the former Manila mayor stirred controversy when he dared the House leadership to withhold the distribution of PDAF until investigations into the reported P10-billion pork barrel controversy are concluded.

However, his challenge appeared to have fallen on deaf ears, with Malacanang itself publicly acknowledging that it supports PDAF for solons.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and other senior House members are also cold to the idea of initiating a congressional inquiry into the reported misuse of PDAF.

Atienza believes it is morally wrong for Congress members to allocate funds to themselves since the legislature is tasked to allocate and approve government budget.

He said the allegations of pork barrel misuse have made the situation all the more difficult.

The so-called P10 billion pork barrel scam had initially linked 28 congressmen, mostly from the opposition.

Meanwhile, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga warned that the House's credibility will suffer if its members will investigate themselves or their colleagues in connection with the scandal.

Barzaga has filed a complaint before the committee on ethics against oppositionist Rep. Jonathan De la Cruz (Abakada Guro) for allegedly feeding the media with still unfounded Commission on Audit information that linked 70 more solons to various pork barrel irregularities involving questionable non-government organizations.

Rep. Rodito Albano (NP, Isabela) has also assailed Atienza's proposal as a mere attempt to ''grandstand,'' saying that those who will reject their PDAF should share the fund to pro-pork solons, instead.

Albano is a member of the House minority bloc led by San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.

Zamora and the Makabayan members of the House minority are pushing a congressional inquiry into the P10 billion pork barrel scandal that linked 28 congressmen and senators to alleged irregularities in the distribution of the fund.

Describing the pork barrel issue as the ''elephant in the room,'' Zamora noted that the Senate has chosen to ignore the scandal and allow government agencies to freely conduct their investigation.

Atienza said the House should consider ''very drastic reforms'' to make PDAF expenditures and free from graft.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Que nails first title in 3 years

    The three-time Asian Tour champion, who bounced back from a mediocre start of 72 and 71 with a fiery 66 Friday to tie Tabuena at helm, pooled a 72-hole total of seven-under 281 to nail the elusive win on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour worth P650,000. Hounded by poor putting, Tabuena went birdie-less for the first time in a long while but still stayed in the title hunt with a slew of pars at the back until he bogeyed the 17th and fell by two. …

  • Church: Donate to ‘Alay Kapwa’

    An official of the Church’s social action arm has asked the faithful to be generous when making a donation to "Alay Kapwa" today, Palm Sunday, which is also designated as Alay Kapwa Sunday.   Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), said the faithful should generously give to Alay Kapwa as the amount collected will be used as emergency funds for crisis and calamities both from natural and …

  • ‘PNP’s systematic anti-crime drive to be sustained

    Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II vowed to sustain the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) deliberate, programmatic and determined approach in fighting criminality.  “The President and Filipino people can be assured that the PNP will not slow down in its mission of fighting criminality, not only in Metro Manila but nationwide," said Roxas, who bared that there has been a significant drop in criminal activities within Metro Manila, especially …

  • Visayas grid to benefit from new Luzon power plants

    Owing to the existing transmission interconnection, Visayas grid is seen benefitting from the projected ‘oversupply’ that may saturate Luzon in the next three years. The Department of Energy and players from the power industry have noted the scant flow of capital for new power projects in Visayas, but they underscored that the transmission link-up would enable the sharing of energy between the two grids. First Gen executive vice president Ernesto B. Pantangco, who is also vice president of …

  • Arroyo’s co-accused permitted to undergo hospital procedure

    A co-accused of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a plunder case has been allowed by the Sandiganbayan First Division to undergo a medical procedure tomorrow. The graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas, who was also its former budget and accounts manager, to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance procedure at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City this morning. Aguas, who is …

  • Petron expands petroleum retail operations

    Following the completion of its re-branding on acquired assets, leading Philippine oil firm Petron Corporation is now setting its goal on expanding its retail network in Malaysian petroleum market. The company has emphasized “20 more sites are in various stages of construction and commissioning.” On the downstream petroleum industry, it is the first time that a Filipino firm had brought its brand to an offshore market. It is technically some sort of ‘symbiosis’ when it comes to investments …

  • PAGASA: Storm may enter PH by Wednesday

    It may be a wet and windy Holy Week due to an erstwhile low pressure area which has intensified into a tropical storm with international name "Maysak,” according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.As of yesterday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the cyclone at about 3,300 kilometers east of Mindanao and outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).Should it maintain its present speed and track, it may enter the …

  • News In Brief

    The weighted average rate stands at P44.796 MINDANAO INFRASTRUCTURE SHARE INCREASED In a bid to boost the Mindanao economy, the Philippine government has increased the southern island’s share of the 2015 infrastructure budget to 30%, or around $4 billion, said Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson at the Philippines Investment Forum in Manila last week. “In 10 years’ time it’s still likely to be 30% because while the Philippines is committed to growing renewables, demand will …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options