, Bayan Muna and the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters Incorporated
Two suits challenging the government's national budget were also dismissed by the SC.
The petitions filed by former Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco had sought to invalidate the General Appropriations Act for 2015 and Republic Act 10652, a law providing a supplemental budget for the national government.
argued that the 2015 National Expenditure Program (NEP) in the GAA contained pork barrel funds, in contravention of the Court's decision which declared unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund
budget petition claimed that the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) program is a clone of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which the Court also has declared unconstitutional.
also questioned the definition of "savings" contained in the 2015 GAA.
said the term "savings" refers to a surplus in budget after the completion or payment of a particular line item budget included in the general appropriations law.
noted that if the money was never used in the first place, then it cannot be classified as savings.
claimed that the respondents expanded the definition of savings in the NEP and 2015 General Appropriations Bill to allow allow the Executive branch to "whimsically and arbitrarily discontinue, stop or fail to begin the implementation of an approved PAP (program, activity or project) even in the early parts of the fiscal year to forcibly turn the appropriations for such into savings."
's second petition on the supplemental budget, the Court ruled that Syjuco had not shown any substantial grounds to have the supplemental budget declared unconstitutional.