SC urged to declare use of Malampaya funds unconstitutional-A A +A
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
A GROUP of taxpayers called on the Supreme Court to strike down a provision of a Martial Law-era decree that gives the President full discretion on how to use the proceeds from the Malampaya gas project in Palawan.
Former Manila councilor Greco Belgica and four other individuals said Section 8 of Presidential Decree 910 "offends the accountability provisions of the Constitution" since it allows the use of fund for any project the President desires.
"Despite the clear mandate of Section 27 and Section 28 of Article II of the Constitution, both Congress and the public are hardly ever in a position to monitor the expenditure of these funds. This only serves to highlight the importance of striking down the pernicious phrasing of the last portion of the last sentence of Section 8, PD 910," the petition read.
Otherwise, the petitioners said the President will continue to treat Malampaya funds as "personal kitties to be dispensed at whim and for any purpose he or she may desire."
Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla earlier said the government had spent P9 billion from Malampaya funds, of which P5.8 billion went to the agricultural guarantee fund, P1 billion for modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and P2.2 billion for the Department of Interior and Local Government – Philippine National Police (DILG-PNP).
The petition filed on Monday was a follow up to the group’s plea against the allocation of pork barrel funds for members of Congress, which is in response to reports that fake non-government organizations (NGOs) received money through some lawmakers. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)