- The Supreme Court has junked the petition filed by Belgica to prosecute the outgoing Aquino administration for initiating DAP and PDAF
- PDAF and DAP were both declared unconstitutional by the high court
- Belgica’s petition was dismissed due to lack of merit
The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed on Tuesday, June 28, a petition, filed by former Manila councilor Greco Belgica, the President’s aunt Margarita Cojuangco and several others, compelling the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to probe those behind the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which were both declared unconstitutional by the High Tribunal, initiated by the outgoing Aquino administration.
SC spokesperson Theodre Te said that, aside from lack of merit, the Court en banc ruled that the “acts sought to be compelled by petitioners, such as compel the Ombudsman to cause the investigation, prosecution and/or suspension of all those liable in connection with the pork barrel and the DAP, are not ministerial acts but discretionary acts.”
He explained that the mandamus will issue only (1) where there exists a clear, legal right to the act demanded; (2) respondent has the duty to perform the act because it is mandated by law; (3) respondent unlawfully neglects the performance of such duty required by law; (4) the act to be performed is ministerial, not discretionary; and (5) there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, as per an article published by Inquirer.
“None of these elements exist and thus mandamus does not lie and petitioners are not entitled to the relief sought,” Te said.
In 2013, the high court declared as unconstitutional the PDAF, commonly known as the “pork barrel fund”, and all the laws that created it. The high court also prohibited the future creation of laws to revive the said fund; hence, certain acts under DAP was declared unconstitutional in 2015, as per an article published by CNN.
In both ruling, the high court ordered an investigation and prosecution of erring officials on PDAF as well as the proponents and authors of DAP.
But according to Belgica, it had been two years since the court declared PDAF as unconstitutional, but the Ombudsman and the Justice department had yet to file cases against officials and personalities, with an exception of those exposed by pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.