MANILA, Jan. 13 (PNA) — The Supreme Court (SC) en banc on Tuesday dismissed the two petitions questioning the 2015 Budget and the Supplemental Budget for lack of merit.
In a press conference, SC Public Information Office (PIO) Chief and Spokesman Atty. Theodore O. Te said, “The Court acted on two petitions brought by the same petitioner challenging the 2015 budget and the Supplemental Budget by dismissing both petitions for lack of merit.”
The first petition was filed by former Iloilo Rep. Augusto L. Syjuco, Jr. against Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. in their respective official capacities.
It argued that the 2015 National Expenditure Program (NEP) contained in the proposed General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2015 contained pork barrel funds, in contravention of the SC’s ruling on the unconstitutionality of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
It further argued that the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) is a clone of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), some acts and practices of which the SC had also earlier declared unconstitutional.
The petitioner also questioned the definition of “savings” contained in the 2015 GAA.
The second petition was also filed by Syjuco against President Benigno S. Aquino III, Abad, Drilon and Belmonte in their respective official capacities.
It questioned the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 10652, a law providing a supplemental budget for the national government.
The petitioner cited the same reasons for the challenge to the supplemental budget.
For the first petition, on the 2015 Budget, the SC cited its prematurity because it does not allege any specific expenditure, fund release or any Executive act or issuance to this effect.
”Petitioner, suing as a taxpayer, has not claimed any injury to him or to taxpayers in general but has only posed hypothetical or feigned problems, or mere academic questions. On this matter, the Court also stated that it does not render advisory opinions,” the SC said.
For the second petition, on the Supplemental Budget, the SC noted that petitioner had not shown any substantial grounds to have the supplemental budget declared unconstitutional other than his invocation of the SC’s rulings in the PDAF and the DAP cases.
”In both decisions, the Court had not passed on the constitutionality of a supplemental budget,” the SC said. (PNA)