SENIOR Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday lambasted Malacañang for its glaring violations of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
During the oral arguments at the Supreme Court en banc, Carpio, the most senior magistrate of the High Court, questioned the act of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in issuing a Department of Budget and Management Circular on DAP without a mother law from President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Carpio said only the President can realign funds as mandated by law. He made the interpellation with one of the petitioners, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate.
“DBM cannot realign without an Executive Order (from the president). It is worse,” Carpio said referring to the 2013 national budget, which was realigned by Abad.
He noticed that the power of the President to realign funds cannot be delegated to his DBM Secretary.
He noted the absence of written document on DAP for the year 2011 and 2012.
Carpio said that DAP is an addition to the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
When Dean Pacifico Agabin, counsel for the petitioners, was asked by Carpio whether the DBM Circular of Abad could be questioned immediately even before funds were disbursed he said “yes.”
In the meantime, Atty. Raymund Fortun, counsel for the petitioners, raised the issue on the possible usage of DAP as “bribe” during the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona, as uncovered by Senator Jinggoy Estrada during his privilege speech at the Senate.
Justice Leonen said that bribery needs to be proven first.
Commission on Audit Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan said that DAP was an evolution coming and was done even before the previous administration.
Before it was called as the Reserved Control Account and then the Savings Program and now DAP,” she said.