Rigoberto Tiglao’s column on “DAP Draft Supreme Court decision leaked to SWS head” is enlightening and poses interesting legal issues on DAP ruling applicability.
The Supreme Court ruled PDAF as unconstitutional with a retroactive application; while DAP (as leaked by SWS chief Mahar Mangahas to Jarius Bondoc and his email buddies, and picked up by R. Tiglao) is also unconstitutional but “immediately executory but with prospective effect.” Why the difference in these two rulings’ application?
The Constitution as the supreme law of the land is applicable in all its aspects and provisions effective from the time of its ratification by the people and onward. Acts (like the PDAP and DAP, whether by legislative or executive fiat) if violative of the Constitution and so ruled and construed by the Court as such as unconstitutional from the time the acts are committed, and, therefore retroactive to time of performance or commission of such act declared unconstitutional. To rule an act as unconstitutional but withholding its applicability to such past act which is the very ISSUE ruled upon, and then state the ruling is prospective in effect, is an opposite conflict in application. The Supreme Court declaring a past act unconstitutional but executory only in future similar violative acts takes the form of a legislative enactment which the Judiciary, as a separate branch of government can not usurp, as that power belongs to the Legislature. It is enough that the ruling resolved the issue of its Constitutionality but can not stretch the interpretation to touch on when it is applicable.
The unconstitutionality of an act reverts to the time the act declared unconstitutional was performed which must perforce be retroactive. If DAP is ruled unconstitutional, acts (like granting members of Senate additional pork barrel from DAP as a bribe to convict Corona) performed under and within this Program is prohibited. Hence, Sec. Abad and Pnoy must face the consequences of their unlawful actions, and must be prosecuted and impeached, respectively for violations of the Constitution.
New York City
Luciano Adan firstname.lastname@example.org