G.R. NO. 208493 Social Justice Societe (SJS) President Samson S. Alcantara Vs. Honorable Franklin Drilon, et al.
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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIE1Y (SJS)
PRESIDENT SAMSON S. ALCANTARA,
Petitioner, 2J8'19 3
- versus - G. R. NO.
HONORABLE FRANKLIN DRIWN, in his
capacity as Senate President, and
HONORABLE FELICIANO BELMONTE, JR.
in his capacity as Speaker of the House of
PB'rmoJIER respectfully alleges that:
1fATURE OF THB ACTIOW
(t) In this Petition for Prohibition filed pursuant to Rule 65 of the
Revised Rules of Court, petitioner, in his capacity as a taxpayer, seeks to
prohibit respondents, as heads of the two(2) Houses of Congress, from
further taking steps to enact legislation apptopriating funds to cover the
Pork Barrel, presently known as the ·~fity Development Assistance
Fund,.. of the members of Congress, and thus insure the total abolition
thereof. Respondents, who are among the highest officials of the land,
have the mandatoty duty to respect and strictly comply with the letter
and spirit of the Constitution.
(2) Petitioner submits, as Grounds for the Petition, that:
A. THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM ALWWS THE
PERVERSION BY CONGRESS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL
POWER OF TAXATION BY PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES
8JS ETC. EI AL. IS. SEHAIE PRESIDENT QfULOH. EI ALJPEllT10N
FOR THE MEMBERS THEREOF TO GORGE THEMSELVES
IN FUNDS COLLECTED PURSUANT TO TAX LEGISLATION
THEY HAVE ENACTED PURPORTEDLY FOR THE PUBUC
B. THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM MAKES A MOCKERY
OF TH~ CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE ON
ACCOUNTABILITY, HONESTY AND INTEGRITY OF PUBLIC
C. THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM RENDERS USELESS
THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLE ON SEPARATION OF
POWERS AS IT ENABLES THE EXECUTIVE TO ALLOW OR
WITHHOLD THE RELEASES OF PORK TO THE
l..AWMAKERS AND THEREBY CONTROL THE LATTER.
D. THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM ABETS AND
PERPETUATES POLITICAL DYNASTIES.
'(3) Petitioner has no appeal or any plain, speedy, and adequate
remedy in the ordinwy course of law.
(4) Petitioner implores this Honorable Court to disregard
procedural technicalities and take cognizance of this case. The Filipino
people are up in arms against the Pork Barrel System which they
perceive to be a pernicious legislative practice. But only this Honorable
Court can authoritatively and with finality rule on the constitutionality
and legality thereof.
fS) Petitioner is of legal age, President of the Social Justice Society
(SJS) which is a national politicaltlal1:y, a taxpayer, and holds office at
Suite 1402 Manila Astral Tower, Taft Ave. cor. P. Faura, Ennita, Manila.
SJS ETC. eT AL VS. SEHAT£ PRESJD£N! DRILQN. ET AI...IPEDTIOM
(6) Respondent Hon. Franklin Drilon is the incumbent President of
the Philippine Senate and may be served with summons at the Philippine
Senate, Senate Building, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.
(7) Respondent Hon. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. is the incumbent
Speaker of the House of Representatives and may be served with
summons at the House of Representatives, Batasan Hills, Quezon City.
STATEIIERT OJ' FACTS
(8) The Pork Barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund
(PDAF) is a yearly allocation of large sums in the annual national budget
for members of Congress.
(9) These amounts are supposedly to cover expenditures for
projects designated by the Senator or the member of the House of
(10) The funds for the projects/beneficiaries are ordered released
by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
(ll) The annual appropriation for the Pork Barrel or PDAP is in
the billions of pesos. In the 2014 budget, the amount proposed is about
(l2) While the funds are to be spent for projects designated by
lawmakers, the latter do not take active part in insuring that the funds
are actually devoted for such projects.
(113) Several whistleblowers have surfaced declaring that Pork
Barrel funds are not spent for the intended projects but instead
misappropriated or pocketed by private individuals and even members of
Congress. In the meantime, Janet Napoles, the principal character in
the Pork Barrel scam, has disappeared.
SJS ETC, EI AL· VS. SENAT£ PR£SID£NJ DRILQH. EIAL.IPE1T110H
(14) These revelations have triggered widespread public
indignation and have even prompted the President, flanked by
respondents, last August 22, 2013 to declare on national television that
it is time to abolish the Pork Barrel. But the .declaration is, to say the
least, equivocal; it contained no clear assurance that the Pork Barrel
(including his own) in whatever form and name would finally be
abolished. Likewise, respondents have not made a categorical declaration
that the Pork Barrel would be abolished. Furthermore, they will still
continue deliberations on the appropriation of funds for the Pork Barrel.
These actuations, it is submitted, constitute grave abuse of discretion.
(15) On the same date, former Senate President Juan Ponce
Enrile, in a press conference lashed out at the Commission on Audit
report tagging him as the topnotcher in Pork Barrel allocations.
(16) Expectedly, several senators, most of whom are themselves
ardent pork barrel devotees, have somersaulted and come out with
seemingly righteous announcements for its abolition.
(17) On Monday, August 26, 2013, National Heroes Day, tens of
thousands of Filipino taxpayers converged at the Luneta to express their
demand for the abolition of the Pork Barrel and for the prosecution of all
the lawtnakers and other persons who pocketed their JX)rk.. Similar
gatherings took place in other public places throughout the Philippines.
(iS) But all these marches, demonstrations, and rhetorics, no
matter how righteous, can settle with finality the constitutionality and
legality of this pernicious legislative practice called Pork Barrel except
through the exercise by this Honorable Court of the judicial power.
s,sl ttc. ET AL VS. SENATE PR£SIDENT DRILQN. ET ALIP£11l10N
(19t To be sure, this Honoz:able Court has in the past resolved
issues involving the Pork Barrel, but the issues raised in this Petition are
different from those passed upon in said cases.
(20t Petitioner implores this Honorable Court to disregard any
technicalities, rule on the issues raised in this Petition, declare with
finality what is constitutionally permissible and what is constitutionally
obnoxious in connection with the Pork Barrel, and thus be the calming
but firm hand in this great awakening of the citizenry.
(21) Up to the present time, respondents, like the President of the
Philippines, have not made any categorical commitment for the
unconditional and absolute abolition of the Pork Barrel. As a matter of
fact, the appropriation for the Pork Barrel is still in the pro!X)sed 2014
National Budget and in all probability will be approved unless the
Congress, headed by respondents desists from doing so. By ruling on
the merits of the Petition, this Honorable Court would be allocating
constitutional boundaries. Promises and assurances coming from
politicians cannot be relied upon. Oftentimes, they say "yes• but really
DI8CUBSIOI OI THE GROUKDS OV THE PETITION
(22) Petitioner respectfully alleges, in support of the grounds
alleged in paragraph 2 hereof, that:
RE GROUJID A. THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM
ENABLES THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO POCKET FOR
THEMSELVES MONEY WHICH SHOULD BE SPENT FOR
PUBUC PURPOSE AND WHICH ARE EXACTED FROM THE
PEOPLE BY WAY OF TAXES.
The taxing power in vested in the legislative department. Congress
enacts Jaws for the collection of taxes which should always be for public
SJ$Etc. ET AL vs. &EHAT£ P8ESIDefT DR1L0N. ET A1..1PEDD0M
Unfortunately, through the Pork Barrel mechanism, members of
Congress have been able to gorge themselves with tax collections which
should have been devoted for public purpose. Through the power of
appropriation, members of Congress have under the Pork Barrel system
been able to misappropriate funds collected pursuant to tax laws that
they themselves have enacted.
This is a brazen betrayal of public tnlst. The Filipino taxpayer is
being fried in his own lard. And wltat makes this more galling is that he
is often prosecuted for non-payment of taxes.
RE GRQUJID B: THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM MAKES
A TRAVES1Y OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE ON
ACCOUNTABIU1Y OF PUBLIC OFFICERS.
The Constitution provides:
•Public office is a public tnlst. Public officers and employees must
at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost
responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and
justice, and lead modest lives.• (Sec 1, Article XI)
-rhe State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public
service and take positive and effective measures against graft and
corruption." (Sec. 27, Art. II)
Under the Pork Barrel System, the foregoing constitutional
mandates are rendered meaningless. Members of Congress who have
profited or are about to profit from this system cannot claim that they
are serving with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, or
are leading modest lives. They have used their public office to enrich
themSelves. They have committed graft and corruption.
It is indeed high time for this Honorable Court to prohibit further
appropriations for the Pork Barrel to stop continuing injury to the
SJS ETC. E! AL. VS. SENATE PBESIDENT ORILOH. ET AL.JPEDDQN
RE GROUIID C. UNDER THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM,
THE PRESIDENT CAN CONTROL THE CONGRESS.
Under the Pork Barrel System, the President, through the
Department of Budget and Management, can withhold releases to the
lawmakers of their pork and thus c.ontrol them in the discharge of their
legislative functions. By dangling the pork to them, the President can
require them to vote for or against proposed legislation. Indeed, the
constitutional principle of separation of powers is totally obliterated.
RE GROOm) D: THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM
ENABLES POLITICIANS 'VHO ARE MEMBERS OF
POUTICAL DYNASTIES TO ACCUMULATE FUNDS TO
PERPETUATE THEMSELVES IN POWER.
The Constitution prohibits political dynasties (Sec. 26, Article II)
But through the Pork Barrel Systetn, lawmakers are able to accumulate
funds to ensure the continued support and loyalty of their constituents
and to cover their reelection expenses. Thus, they are able to perpetuate
themselves and members of their families in power. Political dynasties
are thus established and maintained through taxes. The constitutional
guaranty on equal access to opportunities for public service can never be
realized. The equitable distribution of political power, mandated by
social justice, will thus always remain a dream.
WIIBRBJ'oRB, it is respectfully prayed that:
(a) This Petition be given due course; and
(b) After hearing, the Pork Barrel System be declared
uncon~tutional, and a writ of prohibition be issued permanently
restrairting respondents from further taking any steps to enact legislation
appropriating funds for the Pork Barrel System, in whatever form and by
whatever name it may be called, and from approving further releases
SJS ETC. ET Al.. VS. 8EtWE fRQIDENT DRI,OH. ET A1.JPEJl1'tOH
Petitioner prays for other just and equitable relief.
Manila, Philippines, August _?::t:2013.
Suite 1402 14th Floor
Manila Astral Tower
1330 Taft Ave. cor. P. Faura St.
IBP 933677I 3-11-2013IAbra
PTR 1696673I3-7-2013I Mia.
Roll No. 12841
MCLE Exemption No. III-001807/10-6-10
Tel. Nos.: 521698414980382
Republic of the Philippines)
City of Manila ) s. s.
SAII80• 8. ALCABTARA, of legal age, deposes and states that:
He is the petitioner in the above-entitled case; he prepared the foregoing
Petition; and the allegations then~in are true and correct of his own
knowledge and/or based on authentic records.
He certifies that he has not commenced any other action or
proceeding involving the same issues to be raised in the Petition before
this Hohorable Court, or any other tribunal or agency, and that to the
best of petitioners, knowledge, no such action or proceeding is pending
before this Honorable Court, or any other tribunal or agency; and in the
event petitioner comes to know of the pendency of such case or
proceeding he undertakes to inform this Honorable Court of such fact
within five (5) days therefrom.
_.___.11 S. AI.CAJIT.
'AUG 28 2013
SUB$CIUBBD AIID SWORK to before me this _ day
2013 at Manila, Philippines. affiant& exhibiting to me hio UVJUOIY ~....~
System Identification No. 03-0257?'86-2.
v7tDoc. No. ·
Page No. 7fl
Book No. _J_6
Series of 2013.
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COPY FURIIIBHIID: BY REGISTERED MAIL..
PERSONAL SERVICE CANNOT BE MADE DUE TO
SJS ETC. ET AL. VS. seNATE PBESIDEHT DRILON· EI A.L.IPEJJIJON
[ ~SSENGER NOT AVAILABLE
[ ] HEAVY TRAFFIC
[ ) INCLEMENTWEATHER
ko110rable Frau~ ~Respondent
Senate Building, Roxas Boulevard
Roaoraltle Fellciaao Belmonte, Jr.
House of Representatives
Batasan Hills, Quezon City