• ‘High Court to stop DAP’

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    THE Supreme Court is likely to stop Malacañang from implementing the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) because some justices are of the belief that it is unconstitutional.

    A reliable source on Thursday said that the High Court may issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) after the justices vote on the matter during a special en banc session today.

    The source said that a number of justices are for the issuance of a TRO, and that Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has distributed to the justices reading materials that partly tackle the illegality of DAP.

    The source said that the justices will surely take Carpio’s position into consideration since he has moral ascendancy over all the SC justices, including Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, being the most senior magistrate.

    “Kapag nagsalita si Tony (Carpio) nakikinig ang lahat, pero kapag si Meilou (Sereno) she is taken lightly by the justices. Eh kasi nga most junior si Meilou,” the source told The Manila Times.

    He added that during en banc deliberations, when Carpio speaks, everybody listens.

    The source cited the voting by the justices on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel, where Sereno opposed the issuance of a TRO. However, majority of the justices were against her, thus the SC issued an order stopping the release of lawmakers’ PDAF this year.

    Sereno is an appointee of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    The High Tribunal set the special en banc session to discuss the petition of former Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco Jr.

    Syjuco and several petitioners sought the urgent issuance of a TRO to stop the government from releasing and disbursing public funds through DAP which they claimed was unconstitutional.

    Malacañang said that DAP funds consist of the consolidated savings of various government agencies.

    In defending the program, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said that the President is authorized to realign funds if these came from the savings of government agencies.

    She cited Article VI, Section 5, subparagraph 5 of the 1987 Constitution as legal basis for the fund realignment under DAP.

    “Section 39 talks about the authority to use savings in appropriations to cover deficits; and Section 49, paragraph 9 which reads, if I may, ‘priority activities that will promote the economic well-being of the nation, including food production, agrarian reform, energy development, disaster relief and rehabilitation,’” Valte said.

    The additional pork barrel allocations given to some lawmakers which was revealed by Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada also came from DAP.

    Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago earlier said DAP is illegal since the President has no power to realign the unused appropriation of government agencies.

    Syjuco and the other petitioners who questioned the legality of DAP said that the Aquino
    government should not be allowed to convert DAP funds into his calamity fund.

    The petitioners argued that constitutional doctrines “must remain steadfast no matter what may be the tides of time.”

    The High Court will hear oral arguments on DAP on November 19 after it consolidated several petitions questioning the constitutionality of the disbursement program. The petitions filed by the Philippine Constitution Association, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and Maria Carolina Araullo, et al, were consolidated with the petitions of Syjuco and
    Manuelito Luna.

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    6 Comments

    1. Roldan Guerrero on

      If DAP is illegal and unconstitutional what consequences would the PORK BARREL KING face? Will he be liable of the consequences which the constitution implies?

    2. joseph domingo on

      “The most important to consider whether funds came from DAP or PDAF is to ensure that those funds are implemented properly, to investigate whether the projects allocated to are not over priced and nobody from the government officials corrupted the funds, to ensure that those people being benefited are really satisfied, and to study those programs and projects if they will be feasible before the implementation. In addition to this, calamity funds must be served immediately with proper implementations to avoid any rumors that these funds had been corrupted only by government officials. to do so, everybody should be willing and honest, have faith and fear to God, and love to country and its countrymen”….

    3. It is my prayer that the “Supreme Court” will declare the DAP unconstitutional and stop the release of these monies. So many people are suffering and in the abyss of poverty. Give these monies to them instead of giving it to the thieves.

    4. Not only Carpio and majority of the Justices believe that DAP is unlawful. There are noted constitutionalists not in the Judicial Branch who could be much smarter than Justice Carpio who are saying that basing on law, DAP is illegal. Justice Lourdes Sereno cannot do anything but agree, otherwise so will reveal once again that she is the stooge of the King of Pork, PNoy. One cannot blame the senior Justices if they does not give too much importance to what CJ Sereno will say or do because obviously they do not respect her. Well Sereno is the most junior Justice and she has been committing so many mistakes in her job that the other Justices cannot show her the respect she wants. That is the result of being an extreme case of political patronage.

    5. Napapanahon na para mapatunayan kung papaano mangibabaw ang pagpapatupad ng batas sa ating bansa. Bagama’t maaaring ang usaping ito ay mabahiran ng pulitika, ito ay bahagi ng kalakaran sa isang malayang pamayanan.