• High Court dumps plea to shut up Aquino

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    THE Supreme Court on Tuesday junked the plea to issue a gag order to President

    Benigno Aquino 3rd in connection with his defense for the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)

    During the deliberations of the SC justices, sitting en banc, it denied for lack of merit the plea of former Rep. Augusto Syjuco to gag Aquino, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, among others.

    ”The manifestation and motion [of petitioner Syjuco]is denied for lack of merit,” SC Public Information Office chief lawyer Theodore Te said in a press conference.

    In his Manifestation with Motion for Issuance of Gag Order, Syjuco argued that President Aquino’s speech in defense of the DAP was a clear violation of the sub judice rule or the rule that restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to pending judicial proceedings.

    Syjuco sought for such order against all public officials and other personalities to prevent them from making public statements and declarations pertaining to matters addressed to the high tribunal questioning the constitutionality and illegality of the DAP.

    Syjuco said the speech stirred public sentiments and opinions on the constitutionality of the DAP.

    “Not only that President Aquino violated the sub judice rule, at worse, his speech constituted a very contumacious act of impressing a hint to the Supreme Court. In effect, he was subtly exerting pressure on the Supreme Court. Clearly, his speech was not only intended for the general public but also for the Supreme Court.”

    In the meantime, the high court also junked for lack of merit the plea of Syjuco to summon Abad.

    In a motion, Syjuco pleaded to issue a Subpoena Ad Testificandum for Abad to personally appear before the high court oral arguments on the constitutionality of DAP on November 19.

    He asked the court to issue a Subpoena Duces Tecum for Abad to send to the petitioners, and to respondents, DBM records which show in specific details where from was the source of each items of their so-called DAP savings, and where to each of their “savings” were appropriated and spent, from the start on 2011, 2012, and up to the present of year 2013.

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