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G.R. NO. 208566, etc.
NOVEMBER 19, 2013
History of Pork Barrel (Pre Martial Law Era present) While the term
"Pork Barrel" has been typically associated with lump-sum, discretionary
funds of Members of Congress, the present cases and the recent
controversies on the matter have, however, shown that the terms usage has
expanded to include certain funds of the President such as the Malampaya
Funds and the Presidential Social Fund.
Controversy of Pork Barrel: Over the decades, "pork" funds in the
Philippines have increased tremendously, owing in no small part to previous
Presidents who reportedly used the "Pork Barrel" in order to gain
congressional support.
Spurred in large part by the findings contained in the CoA Report and
the Napoles controversy, several petitions were lodged before the Court
similarly seeking that the "Pork Barrel System" be declared unconstitutional.
ISSUE: Is the 2013 PDAF Article as well as all other provisions of law which
similarly allow legislators to wield any form of post-enactment authority in
the implementation or enforcement of the budget, valid and constitutional?
No. When individual legislators are given a personal lump-sum fund
from which they are able to dictate (a) how much from such fund would go to
(b) a specific project or beneficiary that they themselves also determine,
they are made able to legislate as individuals, not as Congress as a whole. As
these two (2) acts comprise the exercise of the power of appropriation as
described in Bengzon, and given that the 2013 PDAF Article authorizes
individual legislators to perform the same, undoubtedly, said legislators have
been conferred the power to individually legislate, which the Constitution
does not allow.