President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday openly criticized the Supreme Court (SC) for its ruling that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) violated the Constitution.
“We find it difficult to understand your decision,” Aquino said, referring to the High Court’s decision on July 1 declaring DAP unconstitutional.
He maintained that the executive branch did not violate the law in implementing the program., and openly attacked the tribunal for striking out his project.
“It is clear that the Supreme Court has much to consider that they may better clarify their decision regarding DAP; perhaps they can even identify DAP’s negative effect on the country,” Aquino said.
“You had done something similar in the past, and you tried to do it again; there are even those of the opinion that what you attempted to commit was far graver. Abiding by the principle of ‘presumption of regularity,’ we assumed that you did the right thing; after all, you are the ones who should ostensibly have a better understanding of the law. And now, when we use the same mechanism—which, you yourselves have admitted, benefit our countrymen—why is it then that we are wrong?” he said, directly addressing the SC.
The President maintained that DAP was necessary to speed up priority projects and to pump prime the economy.
“Without doubt, any good leader would want to implement projects that benefit the public at the soonest possible time. I do not see any reason to delay benefits for our countrymen, especially because we have the wherewithal to alleviate their plight. It is clear that if you delay the benefits due them, you prolong the suffering of the Filipino people,” he added.
Aquino said the government will appeal the SC ruling and called on the justices to see DAP his way.
“We believe that the majority of you, like us, want only the best for the Filipino people. To the honorable justices of the Supreme Court: Help us help our countrymen. We ask that you review your decision, this time taking into consideration the points I have raised tonight. The nation hopes for your careful deliberation and response. And I hope that once you’ve examined the arguments I will submit, regarding the law and about our economy, solidarity will ensue—thus strengthening the entire government’s capability to push for the interests of the nation,” he said.
“We know that the system we inherited was one that did not help, or did not do enough to help, our countrymen. We are now righting the wrongs in the system, so that it may work towards this goal: To uphold the interests of the people, our Bosses who handed us our mandate. Thus, to the Supreme Court, our message: Do not bar us from doing what we swore to do. Shouldn’t you be siding with us in pushing for reform? Let us, therefore, end this vicious cycle that has taken our people hostage,” he added.
DAP allowed Malacanang to juggle savings, unprogrammed funds and allocations for slow moving projects to priority projects. The SC ruled that the Palace usurped the power of Congress in implementing DAP.
Aquino insisted that DAP is not the same as the pork barrel funds, and there is nothing wrong and illegal with its use.