DAP unconstitutional – SC

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The Manila Times hit the nail right on the head when the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional, with 13 justices out of 14 voting against it.

In an exclusive report on June 16, The Times said an overwhelming majority of the SC justices would rule that the program—a brainchild of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)—is illegal.

In their en banc session on Tuesday, the justices were unanimous in declaring DBM Circular 541 that created DAP illegal and unconstitutional.

The dispositive portion of the Supreme Court ruling on DAP.

The dispositive portion of the Supreme Court ruling on DAP.

Thirteen of them concurred with the ponencia of Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin on the unconstitutionality of the controversial program that Malacañang had said was meant to address poverty.

Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro inhibited herself from voting since a lawyer-petitioner is very close to her and a seat in the tribunal is still vacant.

In the dispositive portion of the decision, the High Court gave three reasons for declaring the program unconstitutional—the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriation Act (GAA), the cross-border transfers of the savings of the executive department to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the executive and the funding of activities, projects and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA.

The Supreme Court also voided the use of unprogrammed funds in the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that revenue collections exceeded revenue targets.

Prospective DAP
The SC is yet to officially issue a ruling on the prospectivity of the application of DAP’s unconstitutionality.

A source of The Times, however, said the justices agreed unanimously that the acceleration program must be “operative in application” under the doctrine of operative facts, provided that good faith and equity must be proved by the “masterminds” of the program—President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

According to the source, Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Mariano del Castillo voted that DAP in its entirety is not unconstitutional.

But del Castillo sought the filing of appropriate charges against those who abused and misused DAP.

No-brainer
Senators welcomed the SC ruling, saying it upheld Congress’ power of the purse.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago praised the High Court and described the DAP case as “basically a no-brainer.” She said the program was not included in the 2011 or 2012 budgets and the use of alleged savings to augment new budget items was not authorized by Congress.

Santiago added that the Budget department should have sought the approval of Congress because it has sole authority on budget appropriations.

She reiterated her call for the Commission on Audit to look into the alleged bribery of lawmakers during the impeachment trial of then-Chief Justice Renato Corona using DAP funds.

It was Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada who revealed that some senators received additional funds from the acceleration program.

“Both the pork barrel and DAP scandals are equally repulsive and the SC declared both funds as unconstitutional,” Santiago noted.

Estrada, who is detained for plunder, also welcomed the SC decision and sought penalty for those behind implementation of the program.

“I thank the Supreme Court for respecting and upholding Congress’ exclusive power of the purse,” he noted. “Heads must roll and Budget officials must be held accountable.”

Sen. Francis Escudero expressed satisfaction with the ruling, saying it will have “far reaching consequences and effects on government budgeting and disbursement processes.”

Escudero committed to conduct a prompt and thorough review aimed at having the results included in the 2015 and succeeding budgets.

Sen. Ralph Recto also supported the SC’s decision, pointing out that “it will definitely strengthen Congress’ power of the purse.”

He, however, said that while there could have been oversight on how funds were released, the money was properly spent.

With a report from Lulu Principe

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19 Comments

  1. The SC declaring the DAP unconstitutional should be respected most. But, saying that the President abused its power is debatable. The President invokes its right in the Administrative Code of 1987 on his disgressionary powers. Being the President, he can use government funds in case of emergency and calamities. The court must established that there is bad faith and malicious intent in creating the DAP during PINOYS incumbency. Let us not pre judge the President because some politicians make the decision of the SC to shield their evil ways. If the funds were used on the Presidents personal intention like bribing the Senators in favor for the impeachment of the former C, SC, then let him be punished by law. The SC should have a final stand also on the constitutionality of the Administrative Code of 1987 to avoid conflict on the provisions of law.

    Truly, the decision of the SC strengthens the powers of the congress specially on the appropriation of funds but questions the act of urgency in times of emergency and calamities.

    SHAME on us filipinos, our character….. Circumstances based on the lifestyle of the 3 Senators put on their own convictions that they are guilty in the eyes of men and God. They should asked forgiveness and hang themselves in SHAME for their family’s reputation and dignity….. and put in live news all over the world during their convictions and never be forgotten in our history….. Curse on them who never asked forgiveness in our people and the Lord…

  2. Abad is the author and the writer of this DAP, AND HIS FAMILY BENEFITTED FROM THIS..THEY SHOULD BE PUNISHED TO THE FULL EXTEND OF THE LAW …NASAAN ANG DAANG MATUWID .?

  3. This will put an end to the “baluktot na daan” way of governing the Filipinos. We deserve a leader who abide the fundamental laws of the land and not the one who violates it. As they say, a good leader must be a good follower. In the first place, PNOY should have been responsible enough in disbursing/using the “kaban ng bayan” and not merely using it in an “unethical” way of removing/impeaching people in the government. He is indeed the “KING OF PORK”. The “SOURCE OF CORRUPTION”. Now, his administration seems the “WORST ADMINISTRATION” ever lived/survived. The great challenged for him now is that to be brave enough to accept his fault and is therefore liable to the crime committed. BE A MAN ABNOY! GET YOURSELF IMPEACHED. FILIPINO PEOPLE DO NOT NEED YOU.

  4. Panagutin si PNOY… kilos kongreso… Pero on the second thought bakit pinagtatanggap nyo mga senador ang perang milyon milyon? Siguro nman alam nyong from the beginning it is Unconstitutional. Nagkabukingan na…. Ibalik nyo nlang…

  5. Benigno KUHA-KO AKIN-NA on

    Then Senators PeeNOY and Mar Roxas opposed the impounding of funds. PeeNOY filed Budget Impoundment Control Act while Roxas filed Budget Reform Act of 2009. But they invented the DAP which is clear case of HIPOCRACY

  6. A president who violated the constitution should be punish. He clearly violated it with full knowledge. There are no excuses. He should be man enough to admit it and accept the punishment.What moral autrhority he has still to show as an example when he himself breaks the law? A law breaker and a corruptor has a place in our jail. That’s it. If the former president is languishing in the hospital for the crime which is not proven yet,why should this incompetent president be spared of such punishment when he clearly violates our constitution?. No one is above the law aquino said so he should be in prison by now.

  7. Anima A. Agrava on

    Abad and Aquino violated the Constitution. They used the money they illegally made available by usurping Congress’ power of the purse. They must be made to account for their illegal acts!

  8. Members of congress are mandated to undertake courses of action to hold accountable those who recklessly misuse government funds by illegally implementing the Priority Development Assistant Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program both of which were unanimously declared by the Supreme to be unconstitutional. They have to see to it that the responsible parties be meted with the appropriate penalties authorized by law such as impeachment. Their failure to do so is a grave dereliction of duty mandated by the law of the land.

  9. Ano mga SC Sirs “Prospective” pagka’t di alam ni Pnoy na “UNCONSTITUTIONAL AT MALI” ang ginawa nya pero si Secxy aBad na ayun kay Jingoy ay graduate ng law ng Areneow at kay Janet Lim Napoles ay UTAK NG PDAF, sino ang maniniwala na hindi nya ito alam at ginawa nila ito ni Pnoy in “GOOD FAITH? Meron ba si aBAD ng “GOOD DI BA PURO aBAD LANG ?

    Kung ganon ay tama rin ciguro ang defense ni Janet Lim Napoles na hindi nya alam na “MASAMA ANG MAGBIGAY NG COMMISSION SA MGA LEGISLATHIEVES galling sa pera nya na nakuha sa PDAF”, DI BA PROSPECTIVE DIN ITO AT GINAWA NYA RIN NG GOOD FAITH TULAD NI PNOY KAYA DI DAPAT SYANG PARUSAHAN?

    Kaya lang, sabi nga ng dating NATIONAL TREASURER NA SI LEONOR BRIONES SA DZMM NA ” IGNORANCE OF THE LAW EXCUSES NO ONE “, DI BA HO BAYAN?

  10. Johnny Ramos on

    This landmark decision will break pnoy. He violated our constitution and should be punished. He did used DAP just impeached corona and not accelerate the economy. Are senators and congressmen better spender than the executive? These were given to them for the simple reasons of kickback. Trillanes even defended that he did know that these was Dap then and the time it was given to him it was not illegal. Triplanes should know that innocence of the law is stupidity.

  11. Jose Carlito on

    I feel indignant and outraged to hear from these shameless senators and congressmen that the money was well spent! Let them account to the last peso where they spent it and let it be audited with a fine tooth comb. The 10 billion pdaf scam pales in comparison to this 157 billion DAP scam.

  12. It’s a good decision of the SC. If such procedure applies even to a barangay, how much more in the national government. I just wish the decision does not qualify the “prospective in nature” clause.

  13. But how can good faith and equity be proven by the “masterminds” of the program—President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, when there was an open declaration from the Sen. Jinggoy Estrada himself that the DAP was used to augment the bribe money given to the senators, for the latter to convict former chief justice Corona? Where is “good faith and equity” there?

  14. With the majority of the SC justices voted and declared DAP as unconstitutional, the cry for justice by Filipinos is finally heard. Thank God. .

  15. This is an expected good news for all of us, the citizens especially plain folks who suffered the most for the abuse of the PNoy administration. Instead of public money being used for the good of the country, the King of Pork shamelessly acted like he owns the Philippine Treasury by using our money to bribe legislators and government officials for his persona shameless vendetta against his enemies, real and perceived. The bribe-takers, all of them are equally guilty of PNoy’s acts. This the reason why we, ordinary folks must never allow the same bribe-takers and bribe-givers to go back to their positions and bring all of them to court. Enrile, Estrada and Revilla must not be the only fall guys. All of them on the 3 lists must be crucified like Jesus Christ, if possible.

  16. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

    The Supreme Court has spoken. The DAP is unconstitutioinal. It is as clear as day
    that this administration notably Abnoy and Abad have abused their powers which
    constitute a blatant disregard of the constution. They arrogated upon themselves
    the power to disburse funds illegaly to bribe members of congress in their whims
    to impeach Corona according to Sen. Estrada. If this president flagrantly violated the
    constitution not only once which is the PDAP and the DAP, what does the sovereign
    people do next. Just let it go? In the same way that an ordinary Filipino be punished
    when he violate any law, this president together with his minions also be punished up to fullest extent of the law. What they did was a very clear example of abuse of
    authority. They just spent government money whenever they pleased and wherever
    they wanted to regardless whether they have the authority or not. A president should
    be an example to the people to respect the law and not to circumvent it. No other
    president did this DAP before. No other president used government money to impeach a sitting chief justice. Only Abnoy. Hence, we should not stop but pursue
    the filing of the appropriate cases against whoeve violated the consitutution. The
    end does not justify the means. For after all, IGNORANCE OF THE LAW EXCUSES
    NO ONE FROM COMPIANCE THEREWITH.

  17. Oh yes Senator 12% agreed that DAP is unconstitutional but say’s the money from DAP was well spent. Well spent indeed because he was one of DAF’s beneficiaries. Recto oh man, you dont have honor do you?