Ex-Aquino ally asks Supreme Court to stop fund release for roads, bridges

MANILA -- A lawmaker formerly allied with the Aquino administration has asked the Supreme Court to stop the government's release of funds appropriated for capital spending in the 2012 national budget.

In his petition, Batangas Representative Hermilando Mandanas sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) that will prevent the release of some P60.75 billion appropriated for capital outlays in the 2012 General Appropriations Act.

Capital outlays refer to government spending on infrastructure, including roads, bridges, schools, among others.

Mandanas said that the amount is only equivalent to the 2012 Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) or shares of the Local Government Units (LGUs) that have been misappropriated by the National Government in the 2012 GAA.

The lawmaker said that the IRA computation should include collections of the Bureau of Customs, the national government's second-largest revenue source.

Mandanas was previously stripped off of his House panel chairmanship post after some disagreements in the revenue share of LGUs provided for under the Local Government Code of 1991.

He has quit the Aquino-led Liberal Party since then.

Mandanas said the national government should automatically release the IRA of LGUs which has already reached P500 billion from 1992 to 2012.

"Compliance by the National Government with the Constitution and existing laws will enable the LGUs to efficiently and expediently serve the Filipino people, and hasten the delivery of much needed and long delayed basic services," he added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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