Palace defends House on move to repeal JDF law

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

MANILA -- Malacanang defended on Tuesday the move of the House of Representatives to come up with bills seeking to repeal the law on Judiciary Development Fund (JDF).

In a regular press briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that it was within the power of the lawmakers to propose measures, which they think were necessary.

"Kailangan po natin maunawaan kung ano ang kahulugan ng kanyang panukala at kung ito naman ay mapapasaloob—mapapaloob sa isang panukalang batas, trabaho po talaga ng lehislatura na magpasa ng mga batas na sa kanilang pananaw ay para sa kabutihan ng mga mamamayan kaya siguro hindi naman angkop na magkaroon pa ng dagdag na ispekulasyon," he said referring to the proposal of House justice committee chairman Niel Tupas Jr. to amend the law on JDF.

Some congressmen have been pushing for the repeal of the JDF after the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel and President Benigno Aquino III's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

JDF was reportedly the pork barrel in the judiciary.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno did not attend the hearing called by Tupas' committee on Tuesday.

Coloma said the Palace respects the decision of the chief magistrate to skip the congressional hearing.

He said that both the judiciary and the legislature are separate and independent branches of government.

"Kaya kami po (from the executive branch) ay interested observer lamang. Sila na po ang dapat na magpasya kung ano ang karapat-dapat na gawin ayon sa layunin ng kanilang pagdinig," he added. (SDR/Sunnex)

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