JDF quiz bucked
• August 4, 2014
• Written by Jester P. Manalastas
• Published in Top Stories
THE investigation into the controversial P1.775 billion Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) could be misinterpreted as an act of revenge against the Supreme Court.
This is according to House Independent Minority bloc leader Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez as he cautioned his colleagues in the House of Representatives against conducting an inquiry into the judiciary fund.
The House Committee on Justice chaired by Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. will begin today the hearing on two measures seeking an investigation of the JDF to find out how it was spent by the justices of the High Tribunal.
“As presiding officer, I will make sure that the committee will be fair and objective in the hearing,” Tupas said.
Romualdez said the preliminary investigation was ill-timed even as House leaders assured a fair and objective probe.
The solon clarified that while there is nothing wrong to call for the full-accounting in the use of the controversial JDF for good governance, the timing is very questionable.
This could be misconstrued as direct attempt to get back at members of the SC following adverse rulings declaring unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and key provisions of Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“We are always for fiscal reforms through transparency and accountability of all public funds, including the auditing of JDF. But I caution my colleagues because doing the inquiry right now is ill-timed and would be misinterpreted as a mere revenge against the SC. The noble intention of good governance will be overtaken by the bad timing of the investigation,” Romualdez said.
Meanwhile, in other interviews, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., Tupas and Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali vowed an impartial and neutral investigation.
“We can guarantee that the probe will not be a venue to what some perceived as retaliatory action by lawmakers over SC’s adverse rulings. We just want transparency and accountability in the use of public funds,” Barzaga said.