G.R. NO. 208493 Social Justice Societe (SJS) President Samson S. Alcantara Vs. Honorable Franklin Drilon, et al.
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G.R. NO. 208493 Social Justice Societe (SJS) President Samson S. Alcantara Vs. Honorable Franklin Drilon, et al.

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G.R. NO. 208493 Social Justice Societe (SJS) President Samson S. Alcantara Vs. Honorable Franklin Drilon, et al. G.R. NO. 208493 Social Justice Societe (SJS) President Samson S. Alcantara Vs. Honorable Franklin Drilon, et al. Document Transcript

  • '~,:::'t .,._ t . ~... REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES SUPREME COURT MANILA 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 Representatives. Respondents. PRORIBmON ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• PETITION 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 I IN FUNDS COLLECTED PURSUANT TO TAX LEGISLATION THEY HAVE ENACTED PURPORTEDLY FOR THE PUBUC GOOD. B. THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM MAKES A MOCKERY OF TH~ CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE ON ACCOUNTABILITY, HONESTY AND INTEGRITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS. 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. THBPARTIBS 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 Representatives. (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 P25.2 billion. (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. 1: (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 mean "nd'. 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 purpose.
  • 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 Constitution.
  • ' 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. RELIEF 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 I 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 pursuant thereto.
  • 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. Petitioner Suite 1402 14th Floor Manila Astral Tower 1330 Taft Ave. cor. P. Faura St. Ermita, Manila IBP 933677I 3-11-2013IAbra PTR 1696673I3-7-2013I Mia. Roll No. 12841 MCLE Exemption No. III-001807/10-6-10 Tel. Nos.: 521698414980382 VBRinCATIOK AIID CBRTIJ'ICATIOR 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. NOrAI<Y f11J8LJ(' NOfAiliAt CIJl'vt!-fS~Il'H.J ~o. ?013-0lB RENEWAL t=rH1 '-IF-Afl '!01~·2(WJ. PT!~ ~o. !:.l13971 1)... JI1-i I.L 'lrJB IBP ~o 911189 OEC 20, 2012- 1f.?. :"2012-201~· l~o11 01: :IT tJ.:l • 15m TIN f1,) H:i1) 2~8·351' ~1CLE EX':iiPVn: !j,_; i 11-0015 74 ~53 P. Ff.IUK-' ST.. ERMIIAI MLA. # ~97101'"7 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 PasayCity Roaoraltle Fellciaao Belmonte, Jr. l~espondent House of Representatives Batasan Hills, Quezon City