Other strategies to save the Executive

4

Second of two parts

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The first part of this column came out yesterday, Tuesday July 22, 2014.

D. How about President Joseph Ejercito Estrada? His administration lasted for two short years. According to his Budget Secretary, Dr. Benjamin Diokno, no such fund was created. During the first year of his administration, Pres. Estrada was busy generating revenues to pay off the huge accounts payable left behind by his predecessor.

E. Finally, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She created her very own P330 billion Stimulus Fund. It was officially called the ERP or Economic Resiliency Fund. I remember asking caustically, “Who will be stimulated by this Fund?”

What GMA did was transfer funds from the executive department including, among others, P50 billion in debt service and P100 billion from financial institutions and social security institutions to accumulate over P330 billion for her Stimulus Fund. These transfers were included in the Appropriations Act.

The questions raised during that time by Social Watch Philippines were related to the expenditures and utilization of this fund, considering that it was created just before the election.

It will be very interesting to find out if GMA engaged in cross-border transactions for her Stimulus Fund. It must be noted, however, that when Comelec needed more funds, a supplemental budget was passed—certainly a constitutional solution!

If GMA indeed resorted to cross-border allocations, this makes her and the present administration two of a kind!

A challenge to media, civil society groups, academics and independent professionals

Of course, the excuse that everyone did it is no excuse. Still, it would be a great scoop if the big media outfits will gather all the living budget secretaries of the different presidents in one forum and verify if they created DAP-like programs. The information would be helpful in setting the record straight.

Marcos’ budget secretary was Jaime Laya. He was succeeded by Manuel Alba. Cory’s budget secretary was former Sen. Alberto Romulo. He was succeeded by Gem Carague. Ramos’ budget secretary was Jun Enriquez, followed by Emy Boncodin. Erap’s budget secretary was Ben Diokno. GMA’s budget secretary was Emy Boncodin who had returned to government. Then she resigned and was succeeded by former congressman. Andaya.

Most of them, with the possible exception of Emy Boncodin, are still living. As an academic and scholar, I believe it would be also be great if researchers can track these key officials and get their confirmation or denial. They might have documents which the public is not aware of.

Certainly, the results of this exercise will confirm or negate the claims of the Executive. The information generated might be useful when the Supreme Court reviews the Motion for Reconsideration.

[Prof. Briones’ Handurawan column regularly appears on Tuesdays. This is the conclusion of her column whose first part came out yesterday, Tuesday July 22.]

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4 Comments

  1. Prof. briones, kung ang sinasabi ng Administrasyong penoy sila
    ang Tuwid na Daan, at kahit sabihing mayroong Pork na gaya
    ng DAP ang mga nakalipas na Administrasyon, at gaya na rin
    ng sinabi ninyo sa nakalipas na kolumn nyo rito: Si Pres. Penoy
    ay nagsususog sana ng batas nuong siya ay sinador pa para
    harangin at pagtibayin ang pagbabantay sa nasabing gawain
    ng ehekutibo para ipitin ang budget na hindi pa nagagamit at
    ipunin sa Presdential Pork. Na kaya niya ginawa ay kontra siya
    Pork nuong mga panahong yun. Bakit ata tila nahipan ng masamang
    hanggin ang isipan ni Penoy at naiba ang kaniyang paniniwala.
    Ito na sana ang pagkakataon niya na ipakita ang tuwid na
    Daan na sinasabi niya kung tuluyan niyang initsepwera
    ang Pork sa anumang anyo nito na dahil na nga rin
    napakalinaw NA KONTRA SA CONSTITUTION ITO. Hindi
    nila dapat ikatwiran na mula pa kay Marcos hanggang
    kay Gloria ay may Pork diumano kaya gaya gaya sila
    na kahit Labag sa Tuwid na Daan sige na lang at
    ikatwiran na lang ang napaka-laking kasinungalingan
    na kahit labag sa Constitution dahil nakakatulong sa
    Tao pwede na.

  2. The SC and its respectable members of Justices has done their deliberation based on the Constitutional knowledge of Laws and your suggestion of conducting an investigation of all previous administrations budget secretaries to verify what they did will entirely be different due to different needs and situations during those times when they were in that position.and laws were enacted depending also on the current events like Terrorists Infiltration by Abu Sayaf; calamities , OFW repatration due to risks affecting their lives and many other programs that a President then would have implemented which may affect the budget appropriations for any projects or program necessary for our country many years ago.