• Cory law may save Pnoy

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    A measure signed into law by Corazon Aquino just before losing her transitional powers as revolutionary president to the elected Congress in 1987 may rescue her son President Benigno Aquino 3rd from a political downfall that could loom over his legal blunder on the use of a presidential development fund.

    A former official of the Cory Aquino Cabinet said Malacañang can invoke that law in defense of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which was recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

    Executive Order 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, has been cited by President Benigno Aquino’s team as one of the reasons to justify “good faith” in the release of public funds through DAP. The measure was signed into law on July 25, 1987, according to Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

    “The Revised Administrative Code of 1987 is EO 292. That was enacted, signed as an Executive Act by President Cory Aquino when she was a revolutionary government president. It was signed, I believe, two days before the First Congress under the 1987 Constitution was convened. She signed it July 25, I think. The First Congress convened on July 27,” Lacierda said.

    President Cory Aquino delivered her first state of the nation address on July 27, 1987 when the First Congress opened.

    Interestingly, she never had the chance to use the powers given to her by the Administrative Code she signed into law. It is her son Benigno who may need to avail of the full force and effect of her mother’s last law if he faces impeachment over the unconstitutionality of the DAP.

    Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. confirmed that EO 292 is among the “legal measures being studied” by Palace lawyers and the Office of the Solicitor General.

    According to Lacierda, Cory’s legislative powers under the 1987 Charter ended on the day Congress convened.

    “If you look at the 1987 Constitution, the transitory provisions there said that the President will continue to exercise her legislative powers until, [and]I’m paraphrasing here, the President will continue to exercise her legislative powers until the First Congress convenes,” said the Palace official.

    The law has since been “the basis for the continuing authority of the President to reorganize the executive branch or the executive department.”

    There were insinuations that the Admin Code was a spillover from the Marcos era, which Lacierda readily belied because of the fact that Cory signed it on July 25, 1987, more than a year after Marcos had fled to Hawaii.

    “So, the implication it was signed by Mr. Marcos is not supported by facts and the dates of events. The Revised Administrative Code was signed by President Cory under powers provided to her during that time prior to the normalization of our government. It is also supported by the transitory provisions in the 1987 Constitution,” he pointed out.

    Even former Sen. Rene Saguisag, in an article published in The Manila Times, said Malacañang can invoke the Code in defense of DAP, and if only to justify “good faith” in the release of public funds through the controversial program.

    Saguisag particularly cited Sec. 49 which says: “Authority to Use Savings for Certain Purposes—Savings in the appropriations provided in the General Appropriations Act may be used for the settlement of the following obligations incurred during a current fiscal year or previous fiscal years as may be approved by the Secretary in accordance with Rules and procedures as may be approved by the President: . . .”

    The former senator and famous human rights lawyer said the same power extends to “Priority activities that will promote the economic well-being of the nation, including food production, agrarian reform, energy development, disaster relief, and rehabilitation . . . [and]Repair, improvement and renovation of government buildings and infrastructure and other capital assets damaged by natural calamities.”

    Activist lawyer disagrees
    Activist lawyer Argee Guevarra, however, told The Times that EO 292 cannot shield the Aquino government from liability. If his memory serves him right, Guevarra said, the Administrative Code was not even raised by the SolGen during oral arguments at the SC.

    “It was only an afterthought . . . Admin Code cannot be used as an excuse to establish good faith,” the lawyer stressed.

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    21 Comments

    1. Sana bigyan natin ng pagkakataon si P-NOY na ituwid ang pagakakamali sa DAP. Siguro kung idinaan sa congress ang DAP ay hanggang ngayon ay wala pa tayong economic growth. Sana ang SC ay binigyan na lang ng re-primand ang administration para hindi na lang maulit.

      Sa ngayon ay wala pang puwedeng pumalit kay P-NOY na hindi magnananakaw. At present, the Philippines is still lucky that we have the president na hindi magnanakaw.

      Sana ipaliwanag ng administration kung saan napunta ang lahat ng pera sa DAP para humupa ang tensiyon. Kung ang gumamit nito ay dinala sa pagnanakaw ay dapat parusahan.

    2. Constitutionality or constitutionality as per SC take precedence over any previously laws enacted. If the previous laws were unconstitutional they will be invalid or unlawful laws. The unconstitutionality of DAP MAKES PRCEDENCE OVER THE LAW ENACTED BY CORY, WHICH IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. PNOY cannot use this to justfy DAP.

    3. victor m. hernandez on

      Abad invoked 1987 Constitution, Article V, Section 25 (5). The Consitutional exception is only allowed if there is a law on that exception, and the President is given authority to augment funds or appropriation.Nothing of that law was passed.
      I surmise that the appropriate action should have been a supplementary budget approved by Congress in order to create and implement the DAP. Again, nothing of that law, a supplementary budget, was passed by Congress. Precisely, the basis for SC decision, to declare DAP as unconsitutional. The SC is generous, that it declared the DAP as unconstituional on a prospective basis, and declared it unconsitutional in part, under Operative Fact doctrine, which makes the author and implementor answerable to the law, unless good faith is shown in doing so, but authors and implementors are still asnwerable nevertheless. P-Noy failed to honor his oath of office to uphold the Consitution. The 1987 Constitution, specifically, the current one, nullified whatever relevant EO was issued by Cory.

    4. victor m. hernandez on

      This Cory Aquino law, the Executive Order of a Revolutionary President,is now declared unconsitutional, on a prospective basis, by the Supreme Court as the result of DAP resolution: “The Revised Administrative Code of 1987 is EO 292. That was enacted, signed as an Executive Act by President Cory Aquino when she was a revolutionary government president. It was signed, I believe, two days before the First Congress under the 1987 Constitution was convened. She signed it July 25, I think. The First Congress convened in July 27,” Lacierda said.

      All appropriation of funds are now in the hands of Congress, and no President can invoke the EO. Congress must do its job and exercise its power of the purse and oversight funtion. The Supreme Court has spoken.

    5. victor m. hernandez on

      P-noy rejects Sec. Abad’s tender to resign from Cabinet for the reason that what Abad did was something good for the people, hence accepting the offer to resign is wrong. P-Noy’s defense of Abad’s action on the DAP is admirable, as Abad’s long time friend, Liberal Party mate. No matter, the Supreme Court’s decision on the DAP pointed out the wrongness of the DAP and its implementation, though it noted its goodness in terms of impact in stimulating the economy (the World Bank estimated its impact on the GDP of 2013 as 1.3%). Nonetheless the DAP is declared as unconstitutional, and put the Executive on notice that it should stop the DAP, and show good faith in doing the deed of DAP no matter that it has good impact on the economy. In brief SC has emphatically instructed the Executive to respect the role of Congress in budgetary appropriation, and show what law it was invoking in implementing the DAP. The reason that other Presidents have done it in the past is not a good reason enough nor it is acceptable in any way. However, SC also invoke the doctrine of Operative Fact, which allows projects that were done can be tolerated as done, and may not be reversed. Nonetheless, the authors and implementors of DAP are still accountable for the deed. Sec. Abad must have appreciated what the Supreme Court censured and judgment on DAP, hence his resignation.
      On a moral and personal relationship and loyalties are concern P-Noy’s rejection of Abad’s resignation seem understandable; on the legal and constitutional basis, P-Noy has once again betrayed his oath of office to uphold the Constitution. Only the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos could have done that, under the Article 6. Of Constitutional Dictatorship. As exception granting the President’s authority on DAP, Abad’s invoked 1987 Constitution, Article V, Section 25 (5). The Consitutional exception is only allowed if there is a law on that exception, and the President is given authority to augment funds or appropriation. I surmise that the appropriate action should have been a supplementary budget approved by Congress in order to create and implement the DAP. Nothing of that law was passed. The constitutional exception was wrongly invoked,. Thus the decision of SC declaring DAP as unconstitional. P-Noy need not wallow and continue to drown the the quicksand of not upholding the Consitution. Unfortunately, he rejected Abad’s resignation. The authors and implementors of DAP are still under a cloud of doubt no matter that the SC allowed the doctrine of Operative Facts. P-Noy may yet be liable to be impeached based on his blatant violation of his oath of office to uphold the Constitution. Fortunately, P-Noy was saved by the Supreme Court’s decision that DAP is unconstitutional on a prospective basis, and unconstitutional in part where the implementation of DAP was concerned, its effects are under the doctrine of Operative Facts. The issue of DAP on the author and implementors of projects, regardless whether this are under Operative Facts, are now the duty and obligation of the Ombudsman’s, DOJ’s to find out whether there are proofs of civil, and criminal culpability of the authors and implementors of the DAP. Those that receive funds of DAP must fully account for its disbursement, or liquidate the funds. Transparency and accountability require these. That is what real reform is all about. If nothing is done about this, or actions are delayed, or investigations are whitewashed, the writing on the wall is clear: Never Again (at least the Article 6 of Marcos Constitutional Dictatorship). The present blah to justify the DAP is blah, and more blah.

    6. I don’t believe that the DAP was conceptualized out of good faith. If this is the case, it should have been raised as one of the defense’ arguments during the SC hearings. Also, Abad should have not offered to resign given a conscience with good intentions. It is my belief that primarily, the DAP was intended to bribe the senators, especially, Senate Pres. Enrile and the other opposition senators to vote for CJ Corona’s conviction. For this it is possible that Sec. Abad warned PNoy on its unconstitutionality yet being obstinate and overly vindictive, he insisted and compelled Abad to devise a mechanism resulting to that controversial department MC. That’s why Abad, after the SC decision remained silent and ultimately decided to resign. He is troubled by his conscience and finds no more reason to be with his arrogant president. PNoy doesn’t want to be orphaned on this raging controversy so he declined Abad’s resignation. At the onset of the Senate impeachment hearing against CJ Corona, Enrile and other opposition senators showed inclinations to acquit Corona but ultimately in the crunch time voted otherwise. Their integrity clearly were not equal to the glint of money offered by PNoy and Abad through the DAP. Because of their vote, PNoy succeeded in his vindictive obsession to remove Corona as CJ. And for this, they are now hounded by their bad Karma. It’s really intriguing why Enrile and the opposition succumbed to the whim of this immoral president.

      • Bribe is one thing that is IMPOSSIBLE in this situation. There is no such thing as bribe especially to CROOKS IN Congress-IF YOU GIVE IT ALMOST A YEAR AFTER THE FACT. JV insinuation is also impossible. He was given his DAP not informing him for what it is for. PDAF or any similar names has been constitutional for more than 50 years, it is only now because of the Demogratic space, Transparency, and Well meaning leadership of Pnoy that it was proclaimed un constitutuional.

      • to many smart people in the philippines….bottom end of this issue..sacrificing the poor who are the one who should benefits from govt.services needed

      • After all is said and done, it was proven that our legislators are in their position for the money. It is very dangerous to keep on re-electing the same bunch for tradpols, political butterflies and dynastical politicians who have already surrendered themselves to the devil of money. Enrile and Drillon are the monsters of corruption being the most senior Senathieves. If we will continue electing the likes of the Cayetanos, Escudero, Trillanes, Lapid, Legarda, Guingona, Binay and all the rest of them.

      • Noynoy’s leadership is all about protecting Hacienda Luisita….it actually led to Noynoy’s vindictiveness…and spent government’s money for this purpose…money which can alleviate the sufferings of the poor people…money that should have been spent for the promised rice self sufficiency, affordable housing, lower prices of goods and commodities, etc.

    7. The 1987 Cory REvised Admin Code will have to be reexamined by the Supreme Court. Malacanang can cite it if it wants to move for reconsideration. It the said “law” is “transitory” during Cory’s time, then it is still unconstitutional in our time, because we are under a different constitution when the DAP was operated. And problema natin ay ang “palusot”. Instead of coming out in the open, we make palusot.

      • I totally agree. The portion that says DAP-like procedures of the Revised Admin Code could also be unconstitutional even if it is a law.

    8. Irene Vallestero on

      It is not about the palace’s afterthought ” palusot “. IT IS ABOUT THE RELEASE OF THE COMPLETE LIST OF PROJECTS FUNDED BY HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF PESOS DAP FUNDS.

    9. So one says this law can save pnoy & one says it cant so who is right, well probably the supreme court will have to rule on it, will pnoy accept that.

    10. Now, they are very desperate and looking for loopholes using every administrative code or law they could find , but why? , all along this President worse than a dictator abused his executive power and refused to honor the “Law of the Land ” that gave his ancestors to migrate into a democratic country when they escape communist China ,and yet as elected President he disregard the separation of powers as stated in the Constitution ,by disrespecting the Judiciary just to malign and campaigned impeachment of a CJ who had to do his job under the call of duty of his position as a Supreme Court Jugde for a fair judgment to the legal beneficiary i.e. the poor farmers of Hacienda Luisita which his family should have handed over after 10 yrs as provisioned in the law drawn under the Pres. Ramon Magsaysay administration.using the Central Bank reserve (the peoples money).

      • The Philippine Constitution is superior to any administrative, executive order. The law was hatched during the Marshall Law of Marcos where he was dictator. It is quite a anomaly why Cory Aquino who is also a transition President allowed herself to be used to issue another Administrative order. Since the Marcos Marshall Law and the Cory Aquino transition government are both temporary (remember that Cory Aqiuno did not win an election, but was empowered by the people) the next administrations, being already democratic cannot use any and all transitory laws and therefore, the Constitution will always prevail, no ifs, not buts. In fact even during the time of Marcos, he could have been questioned by legal minds because there was still the old Constitution. But who would defy Marcos?

    11. This EO 292 will not save the sorry ass of your Abnoy administration because he did not realigned “savings” as have been pointed out over and over by so many, the money is NOT SAVINGS because the project that was allotted it to is NOT FINISHED yet and it was only in the middle of the year. What Abnoy and Abad did is nothing but usurpation of funds and abuse of power.

    12. Rodol V. Cabado on

      Hey, guys! I’ve been teaching Law since 1981 and I was one of the original appointees of Tita Cory as OIC Member of the Provincial Board of Iloilo in 1986. But drop the stupid acrobatics and contortions. No statute (whether Cory-made or Congress-made) can supersede the Constitution. And when the Supreme Court declares something unconstitutional (which only the Supreme Court can do with finality, even under this 1987 Cory Constitution) then it is legally garbage. Period. Finis.

    13. Do not force feed the people the so called “good faith” palusot by envoking a Marcos law. show the list to the public where the money went and how it was spent. this is a first step in showing real good faith. why bank on technicalities when the solution is just very simple. Besides, the Aquinos had already bedeviled the Apo. the abnoy’s lackeys are studying how to rescue their master using one of the devil’s remnant tools.