We have no pork -- SC

Posted on December 24, 2013

THE SUPREME Court (SC) has disputed claims that its judiciary development fund (JDF) is a form of pork barrel following reports that the tribunal also has its own discretionary funds.

The Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) clarified in a statement the JDF is not a pork barrel fund but a "special purpose fund" which helps ensures the independence of the Judiciary.

"While the Chief Justice is given the power to ‘administer and allocate the fund and shall have the sole exclusive power and duty to approve the authorized disbursements and expenditures of the fund,’ she is not given any discretion on how the funds will be used."

The OCJ also said the Judiciary has submitted to Congress a report on the uses and balances of the JDF.

"The annual report is also posted in the Judiciary’s Web site and is accessible to everyone."

Various lawmakers have questioned the JDF, saying it is a form of pork barrel.

The Supreme Court last month declared as unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers following reports that the congressional funds were channeled to bogus nongovernment organizations implementing ghost projects. -- Mikhail Franz E. Flores