The Supreme Court (SC) is expected to deliberate today on petitions questioning the legality of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
The justices will rule on the nine petitions filed last year against the DAP, which was the subject of a hearing in February.
Insiders said the controversial DAP petitions have been submitted for resolution, which means a decision will be made soon.
Petitioners claimed that the DAP is unconstitutional since the discretionary fund of the President violated the exclusive power of Congress to appropriate funds. They compared it to the priority development assistance fund (PDAF), which the High Court declared as unconstitutional last year.
The Office of the Solicitor General urged the SC to dismiss the petitions for being moot since DAP has been abolished.
Meanwhile, the two petitions seeking to stop the implementation of EDCA, entered into between the Philippine and US governments last month are also reportedly on the SC agenda.
The petitioners are former senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tañada, and Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate. They argued that the agreement was unconstitutional since it is a basing agreement that did not have concurrence of the Senate as required by law.
Sources said the High Court will also hear the petitions of senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. The two lawmakers are seeking to stop their indictment in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Estrada and Revilla allegedly pocketed P183.79 million and P224.5 million, respectively, in kickbacks.
Revilla’s former chief of staff and co-respondent, lawyer Richard Cambe, also sought similar relief from the SC.
The tribunal has deferred action on the petitions of the senators for the issuance of a temporary restraining order that would stop the Office of the Ombudsman from filing charges against them.