The Supreme Court (SC) is inclined to postpone for next year a ruling on the President’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), part of which is alleged to have been used to bribe senators to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial.
An unimpeachable source in the Supreme Court told The Manila Times there is a recommendation to postpone the oral arguments on a restraining order blocking the fund releases from the DAP scheduled on December 10.
A draft resolution circulated among the Supreme Court justices on Friday afternoon recommended that the oral arguments be rescheduled to February of next year.
This means that the plea for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against DAP could be rendered moot.
The Court starts its Christmas recess on December 16.
A TRO would have prevented the President from realigning funds from one branch of government to another.
Several petitions are calling on the Supreme Court to freeze DAP disbursements after Malacañang admitted it released part of the fund to some senators during and after the Corona trial.
The DAP releases triggered accusations that they were used as a bribe for the lawmakers to oust Corona.
Former Rep. Augusto Syjuco Jr. of Iloilo and several other petitioners asked the Supreme Court to stop the government from tapping the DAP for funds to assist areas in the Bohol and Cebu devastated by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake.
Similar petitions against DAP were filed by Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), former Councilor Greco Belgica of Manila and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
The IBP argued there is no allocation for DAP in the General Appropriations Acts (GAA) of 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The Palace admitted it disbursed DAP funds to 19 senators, 18 of whom voted to convict Corona in May 2012.