• PDAF and DAP constitutionality

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    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.

    Jun Adan
    New York City
    Luciano Adan ladan2943@aol.com

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    3 Comments

    1. There are three schemes in DAP which were declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court. These are;
      •The withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Act
      •Cross-border transfers of savings of the executive department to offices outside the executive department
      •Funding of projects, activities, programs not covered by appropriations in the General Appropriations Act.

      DAP is a program initiated in 2011 to transfer savings and unused funds from slow-disbursing programs of one department to fast-moving projects of another.

      Here is the simple interpretation;

      1. SC questioned the savings and the use of it. DBM should be able to answer this simple question. If it’s not saving what is it?

      2. Use of savings to fast track projects. This is required given the slow evaluation, delay in decision and too many red tapes in government agencies.

      3. Funding of projects not covered by appropriation in the General Appropriations Act. Are these urgent projects to fund i.e Typhoon Haiyan.

      The bottom line is there are Senators, Congressmen, etc. who were provided with the DAP funds. They have to do a lot of explaining including Sen. Jinggoy. Let’s wait for DBM to explain.

    2. Adhere and stick to what is embodied in the Philippine Constitution and not what the Executive wants to suit his idiosyncrasies. Violators of law should and must be prosecuted. Administrators of the law should and must not be possessed and owned by the Executive or any politician who bribed them instead, should do their jobs as decent, honorable, and dignified Filipinos serving the country and its people. Judges and justices should not be involved in politics and should shun away from intimate closeness and relationships wicked and corrupt politicians are noted for. Justices of the Supreme Court must be aware that their appointments are based on their knowledge of the law and experiences and length of service. Expression of gratitude to whoever President appoints should be eliminated and be forgotten but service to the country and its people to acquire and maintain credibility and impartiality in rendering judgment and decisions. DAP is illegal and unconstitutional according to Senators Joker Arroyo and Miriam Defensor-Santiago and therefore, President Benigno Aquino III should be held accountable and he should be prosecuted. That would be a “daang matuwid” initiative. There is no daang matuwid when members of the cabinet are accused of graft and corruption. Reform and get rid of the old ways of governance.

    3. DAVE L MONTERO on

      If the Philippine SC rules the DAP according to what is explained, the consequence will be the awakening of the sleeping majority of filipino people, with cogent force, sufficient to cause Abnoy’s fall.