Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte gladly received on Tuesday the petition filed before the Supreme Court (SC) questioning the constitutionality of the transfer of PHP125 million contingency fund of the 2022 national budget to the Office of the Vice President.
In a video message, Duterte said the petition is an “opportunity” to discuss and put an end to the issue.
“Malugod po naming tinatanggap ang pagkakataong talakayin ang legalidad ng paglilipat ng pondo. Umaasa kami na ang dunong ng Korte Suprema ay magiging daan upang tuluyang matapos ang usapin na ito (We welcome the opportunity to discuss the legality of fund transfers. We hope that the wisdom of the Supreme Court will pave the way to finally end this matter),” she said.
Duterte also asked the public to instead turn its attention instead to issues in the education and economic sectors.
The Vice President particularly raised concern over the improvement of the quality of education and protecting students and Department of Education staff from threats and abuses, as well as increasing prices of commodities, which also affect learners and their families.
“Napakahalagang pagtuunan din natin ng pansin ang pagtugon ng mga mahahalagang isyu ukol sa mga presyo ng bilihin na nakakaapekto sa ating mga mag-aaral at kanilang mga pamilya (It is also very important that we focus on addressing the important issues regarding prices of commodities that affect our students and their families),” Duterte said.
Barry Gutierrez, the former spokesperson of Duterte’s predecessor and losing presidential candidate Leni Robredo, and 10 others filed a 49-page petition for certiorari asking the SC to declare the transfer of funds unconstitutional and a “clear usurpation of power of Congress.”
The funds, according to the petitioners, should be returned to the national treasury. (PNA)
Photo credit: Screenshot from OVP video