Leonen irked over DAP leaks

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Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen has expressed disgust over the publication of leaks of the draft decision of the high court on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which was declared unconstitutional early this month.

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The Manila Times published articles on the contents of the decision of the high court on the DAP as early as June 16 and 17. The stories quoted an SC source who confirmed that the DAP will be declared unconstitutional, but subject to the application of the “doctrine of operative facts”.

In his 29-page concurring opinion, which did not name The Manila Times, Leonen criticized media entities that get leaks of SC en banc deliberations.

The Manila Times gets leaks of the results of the deliberations of the SC en banc every Tuesday from highly placed sources in the court.

“In the efforts to win over an audience, there are a few misguided elements who offer unverified and illicit peeks into out deliberations. Since they do not sit in our chamber, they provide snapshots culled from disjointed clues and conversations. Some simply move to speculation on the basis of their simplified and false view of what motivates our judgments,” Leonen stated.

“This minority assumes that their stories or opinions will be well-received by the public as they imagine it to be. Those who peddle stereotypes and prejudice fail to see the Filipino as they are. They should follow the example of many serious media practitioners and opinion leaders who help our people as they engage in serious and deep analytical discussion of public issues in all forms of public media,” Leonen opined.

He even belied reports that there are factions in the SC. He even stated that no member of the SC is beholden to the authorities that appointed them.

“We are not beholden to the powers that appoint us. There are no factions in this court,” he said.

The Manila Times has repeatedly reported about the factions in the SC, composed allegedly of appointees of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, Leonen and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno, on one hand, and appointees of former President Gloria Arroyo, the senior justices of the court, on the other hand.

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