• Sereno lobbies for DAP


    Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno is trying to influence Supreme Court (SC) justices into deciding in favor of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the source of the funds given to lawmakers after the Senate impeachment court handed a guilty verdict to former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

    According to a magistrate of the Court who talked with The Manila Times on condition of anonymity, Sereno has been visiting her fellow justices to discuss the DAP petitions pending before the tribunal.

    The source bewailed Sereno’s “improper” method of persuading her fellow justices on the DAP petition.

    The justice said Sereno had been seen in the chambers of several justices.

    “She’s been making the rounds of the chambers. She wants to retain the powers of President Aquino on the lump sum budget,” the source said.

    While the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision declaring the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the lawmaker’s pork barrel unconstitutional, sources at the Court said the Chief Justice is pushing her peers not to issue a similar ruling on the President’s lump sum budget.

    Before the Court issued its landmark ruling against PDAF, Sereno wanted justices to vote on issues in the draft ponencia of Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

    “Sereno was manipulating it [PDAF ruling] by asking the court to vote on
    many side issues, not directly on ponencia,” the source told The Times.

    He said that allies and appointees of the President are trying to delay the Court from acting on the DAP petitions to buy time.

    “Without a TRO [temporary restraining order]within the month and if the case is deferred until February of 2014, the prayer for TRO will become moot and academic.

    What good is a TRO on the 2013 budget when it’s been approved?” the source said.

    The Court en banc postponed the oral arguments on DAP scheduled on December 10 following the appeal of the Senate and House of Representatives which had to tackle the budget bill and other measures.

    The Office of the Solicitor General, representing the Aquino administration, had asked the Court to junk all the petitions questioning the DAP for lack of merit.

    The OSG maintained that DAP is not a fund but a program to accelerate government spending.

    “As is obvious from its name, it is a program for accelerating disbursements. What is only unstated in the title of the program—DAP—is that the sources of funds are from, first, the legitimately-generated savings of the government, and second, the
    Unprogrammed Fund authorized in any relevant GAA [General Appropriations Act],” the OSG said in its comment.

    Several petitioners questioned fund releases under DAP, especially since the DAP fund came from various government agencies and allocations for particular programs. They claimed that the President diverted funds, which is illegal.

    Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada had revealed that millions of pesos given to selected senators and congressmen after the Senate convicted Corona came from DAP, prompting Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago to say that the fund releases were really bribes.


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    1. Roldan Guerrero on

      Watch out what your good President will do with the 100M dollars he loaned here in Japan.Your President who always brag of the economic gains the Phils. had in his hands. He is NO LESS THAN A BEGGAR ASKING FOR HELP from a country he tells the Filipinos the Philippines is the most progressive in Asia today. He should refrain from fooling the Japanese people who are used to have a very clean government and living descent lives provided to them by the Japanese Government.

    2. Without doubt, Aquino is honest and can be trusted. If DAP is given to him as president & BINAY wins, guess who will benefit?

      That i think is the issue, not Aquino’s honesty but the power for any president AFTER Aquino who will benefit from it.


    3. Sereno is lobbying for DAP because she’s requesting a new SC building, which will be funded by none other than the DAP. What a shame.

      • why shame? is this proposed building intended for private use of Sereno ? Is this future building be privatized when Sereno step down? absolutely NO, because this will be utilized by all justices and the people of the Philippines!!! wake up my friend !!!!

    4. In your dreams!!! Abnoy will never face judgement, he will take off like a rocket before his term expires…This is the sort of animal he is. What ever he is doing now with gay abandon, with no fear from retribution is because he is calculating and knows that at the end of the day no one will be able to touch him. SORRY NA LANG TAYO HA??

    5. No need to to decide on this DAP case. Just kick this pretender in the palace for good and call for a new election. We are tired of all this moro-moro this government is so fond to play just to amuse a starving people.

    6. Vote your conscience! Whats with trying to influence other justices omg that unheard of here in the states…. supreme court justices are there primarily because they have their own take in a case. How insulting is that to have someone try to pursuade you! Where is independent thinking which is so crucial in questions of law!!!!

    7. Hintayin muna natin kung totoo ang balitang Ito bago tayo maghusga. Pag may ilang justices na magsabi na kinukumbinsi nga sila ni CJ Sereno then only then can we give our right opinion about it and figure out what kind of action we must do against it and to them.

    8. Baka gustong makisali ni Jinggoy Estrada sa bangayan nila Roxas at Romualdez?Tutal gusto niya lagi malihis ang plunder case niya

    9. One unknown obviously partisan political operative say something about Sereno which is most likely slanderous (meaning untrue, just to destroy her) and you people believe right away. When the same thing happens to you, you will be reminded of how foolish it was.

    10. If Mr. Aquino succeeds in getting a decision in his favor, that is the end of the Supreme Court. Say good-bye to the independence of this branch of government. The other branch, Congress, is already in his pocket. The man is a dictator, a very slippery oily one, that does not use the military. He uses bribe and patronage to get what he wants.
      It makes him even more dangerous. In just 3 years, he has succeeded in wrecking our institutions.

    11. Given that Sereno herself directly benefited from the DAP, the very issue at bar, can we not petition, even demand that she abstains for this delibaration and voting, if only for delicadeza, if she has any…?

      By the way, I noticed Mar Roxas has started to wear the same yellow ribbon lately…what the hell is this…stop the yellow ribbon nonsense, already!

    12. Kaya minaniobra na matanggal ni Noynoy si Corona, para palitan ng isang Chief justice na sunod-sunuran kay Abnoy at kayang diktahan, kawawa naman ang Pilipinas sa ganitong mga govt officials…

    13. Manny De Guzman on

      Wala kaming tiwala sa seraano bilang chief justice. May kawang dinn ang utak nito. Isa syang lier, baliktad ang utak.

    14. I would prefer a million times that PNoy gets the DAP because of his honesty. I don’t have to worry where my taxes go. To those who are against it, you were probably the corrupt ones or relatives or beneficiaries of the previous corrupt administration.

      Go, go, go CJ Sereno. You have my blessing.

      • edmund buranday on

        honest ba kamo? galit na galit dahil sabi nya 2,000 to 2.500 lang ang patay sa dilobyong yolanda. eh, sobrang 6,000 na and counting. honesty ba yon? yung tungkol sa dap na tinatago nila abad, di ba nabuko yon dahil kay ungas jinggoy? haysssssss!!!

      • Mr. Joel R, Firstly, while I respect your opinion, I must disagree. If PNoy was really honest, why hasn’t he kept the promises he made while he was campaigning? I will site only one example, FOI. He is always saying he wants transparency, yet after 3 years he hasn’t delivered this promise. I bet he will eventually push FOI, when he’s about to leave office.

        Secondly, How can you give your “blessing” to a member of the court, the Chief Justice no less, to influence other members. Let’s reverse the situation. What if there was another justice going to her chambers to influence her on voting against DAP. Would you give your blessing to such a Justice?

        And lastly, your last statement is a perfect example of argumentum ad hominem. Don’t try to distract the people from the issues at hand. Is DAP constitutional? And is it right/ethical/legal for a Justice to influence other Justices?

      • natakpan na ng panyong dilaw ang mga mata nyo…honesty? san banda? naging congressman, naging senador, walang naipasang batas. ilang dekada na naghahari harian ang angkan nila sa tarlac, ano ang achievements ng tarlac, ano ang pinagbago? wala. kawawa pa din ang mga magsasaka.as senator, pang-lima sa pinakamalaking nagastos pero walang ginawa. asan ang hindi corrupt? anjan lang sya para proteksyunan ang interest ng mga oligarchs. basa basa din pag may time.

    15. Sereno is an intellectual midget compared to the other Justices. However, because she carries the weight of Malacañang behind her, she can influence some Justices to vote Malacañang’s way. DAP is obviously even more tainted than PDAF, so declaring it unconstitutional should have been a “no-brainer”. However, many vested interests are on the line, including the Supreme Court’s own request for P4 billion for a new building. Sereno may be the Supreme Court’s resident cuckoo. But she obviously knows where her bread is being buttered!

    16. There’s a chorus of condemnation even before the story is validated. We swallow hook, line and sinker everything we read in the media, regardless of its accuracy, veracity and motive. Remember the source is unnamed; he/she doesn’t want to be named because he/she probably is not telling the whole truth or is out to sow discord or malign people. Let’s reserve judgment until we have all the facts at hand.

    17. I hope that the other justices will not succumb to the threats and the further delay of this important decision. If the dap is legalized, they have just handed too much power to the president and that is never good.

    18. If the report of CJ Sereno’s lobbying for Pnoy’s DAP among the SC justices is proven to be true, the people should move for her impeachment, and those who would be voting with her, whether or not the SC moves to legalize the use of DAP!

      The argument of the OSG “that DAP is not a fund but a program to accelerate government spending” is a STUPID argument. The funds come from programmed spending authorized by GAA for specific departments which should be the ones that should do the “accelerated spending.” For PNoy to SEQUESTER the so-called savings and to distribute them to lawmakers is ILLEGAL by any consideration.

    19. Apolonio Reyes on

      Ito ang mahirap sa Pilipino, ang UTANG NA LOOB AY UTANG NA LOOB AT DI KAYANG BAYARAN NG PERA. Dapat siguro gumawa ng batas ang Kongresso na 1) Ang pagpili ng Supreme Court Chief Justice ay ipaubaya sa mga Supreme Court Justices. 2) Ang pag halal ng AFP Chief of Staff ay ipaibaya sa Flag Officers ng bawat Sangay ng AFP 3) Ang pagpili ng PNP Chief ay ipaubaya sa mga PNP District at Regional Chiefs at sa NBI Director sa mga NBI. Sa ganitong paraan ay mawawala ang politics at UTANG NA LOOB sa Supreme Court at mga ahensya ng gobierno. Lahat ng hinalal ay pwede naman matangal sa pamamagitan ng Impeachment na gaya ng ginawa kay CJ Corona,

      • Ukol sa iyong unang punto, makakamit lamang ito kung magkakaroon ng pag amyenda sa ating Saligang Batas. Ayon sa 1987 Constitution, ang Pangulo ng Republika ang syang maghahalal ng Punong Mahistrado.

        Nakikiisa ako sa iyong opinyon na mas maayos ang sistema kung ang Korte Suprema en banc mismo ang pipili kung sino ang kanilang dapat maging pinuno.

      • Okay po iyan pero ang kapalit ay Utang Na Loob naman sa mga pinuno ng mga SC, AFP, NBI etc. Mas maganda siguro kung ang pagpipilian ang kanilang mga Biodata ay nasa website at ang dahilan ng pagpili sa kanila ay siya ring nakalantad sa dyaryo at websites. Sa ganitong paraan malalaman ng taong bayan kung karapatdapat ba iyong namumuno sa ahensiya ng gobyerno.

    20. As many Filipinos condemned the corruption associated with PDAF but not on DAP. The only stain on DAP was that the president used the money from DAP to give to the legislators perceived as bribe as was alluded to by Mr. Jingoy Estrada. If there is any way to save DAP, I think most Filipinos will reconsider it, because the country is presently facing a humongous expenses to rebuild the disasters caused by the recent natural events. Therefore, it would be worthwhile effort for the SC to reconsider not to order TRO on DAP, for obvious reasons.

    21. Sereno, tuta of Abnoy, was appointed because of her opinion that the Cojuanco-Aquino family should be paid a HIGHER price for Hacienda Luisita, which they do not have a right to. Of course, she has to pay back her masters by lobbying for DAP. We cannot allow this to happen. To Bilibid with Sereno!

    22. The Filipino people looked up to the Supreme Court as our last hope, after Senator Miriam Santiago said that our government is not a democracy anymore, but a kleptocracy. CJ Sereno, an Aquino appointee, dashed that hope by lobbying for the hated DAP.

      Benigno Aquino III, the Pork Barrel King, is still not listening to his “bosses” that he should get rid of the corrupted pork barrel, in whatever shape or form, and stop his patronage politics. The Filipino people should remain vigilant and should resist any attempt to revive PDAF in the form of DAP.

    23. Is this the kind of Chief Justice forced on the Supreme Court by the President? She practically asks ‘how high’ when ordered by Noynoy to ‘jump.’ The supposed to be independent branch of government now being converted by this CJ into an agency of the executive branch. How pathetic the Philippines has become.

    24. SC Chief Justice Sereno has just given manfest reason for her to be impeached. Going from justice to justice to campaign for the retention of the disbursement acceleration fund plan of the president smacks of a graft and corrupt practice. Especially since it has already ruled earlier on the unconstitutionality of the PDAP . Sereno is showing her true color which makes her unfit for the office she holds.

    25. It is respectfully prayed that the “Supreme Court” will declare the DAP unconstitutional as it did to the PDAF. The DAP is even worse because there is no authority from the President, which only means Secretary A bad did it by himself? What a powerful Secretary of the Budget.

      Hoping and praying further that the Justices of the Supreme Court will not succumb to Chief Justice Sereno’s lobby and/or pressures.

      They accused Chief Justice Corona – of protecting President Gloria Arroyo.

      Is Chief Justice Sereno protecting President BS Aquino? Your guess is as good as mine.

      • Another wrong can not make a Wrong Right. All PDAF/DAPs whatever its called should be banned. As history has shown politicians of whatever color tend to abuse their power.

    26. mikhail hieronymus on

      So now the Chief Justice of the S.C. is lobbying the Associate Justices in favor of the president. She is now the Lap Dog of the Pork Barrel King! I guess she is paying back the favor for being appointed in her position.

      Nothing surprises me or the people anymore. It is the same old corrupt government over and over again. The characters/actors might change but the script and plot are always the same. Politics and Corruptions. How do we expect the Philippines to move forward with this system? Two steps forward, three steps backward!

    27. The principle of check and balances in this country has been effectively destroyed.
      This administration is by far the worst of all. Congress according to reports has
      been bribed to remove a Chief Justice. The constitution is no longer followed (PDAP
      unconstitutional) the comelec (remember the PCOS cheating) and now this
      Sereno a tuta of abnoy is now at work for the DAP. So, abnoy has it all. I am
      96 years old now and to my knowledge, no president has ever did this before.Its only this abnoy who is corrupting practically all the branches of government. If this
      report that Sereno is now at work in convincing other justices into favoring DAP,
      she clearly showing her true color of being abnoy’s tuta. Time to payback Sereno
      isn’t it. Utang na loob is at its best at the very sacrifice of justice. Congress no longer
      is independent dahi nabayaran na sila, executive no longer obey the constitution,
      the judiciary (Sereno the Chief Justice is now utilizing her high office in waging
      influence to other magistrates to favorably go for the DAP). So,what is there left?
      It’s a pity. It is for these reasons that I appeal to my fellow Filipinos to please
      think of the country(get rid of politicians who continue to destroy our democratic
      institution, the check and balance that is) and to all the leaders of government,
      most especially to Sereno to please allow these other justices to exercise their
      other justices But at least we will owe to you if you consider the interest of the
      country to be paramount to your personal consideration. This is an appeal of
      a 96 years old Filipina.

    28. Considering the glaring sentiments of the people regarding PDAF which brought about the ‘grandmother of all scandals’, it would be a grievous mistake for the Supreme Court to approve the petition against DAP. The people will be very disappointed and may lose their faith in the government. The DAP was among the sources of the ‘bribe money’ given to corrupt lawmakers in the ouster of CJ Corona. To perpetuate DAP would be to perpetuate more corruptions and justifying the erring officials of their previous “illegal” acts. .

      • It appears that, if ever there were a n impeachment rap filed against members of the High Court, it should be against Sereno, not on justices who voted against the PDAF or DAP and their likes.

    29. All these people threatening something against all the SC Justices, first on the pork barrel, and now the DAP. It was Noy2 first. It did not work then these administration personalities followed: Coloma, De Lima, Umali, and now in the Supreme Court itself, Sereno (she ought to be impeached and she will be be after Noy2’s administration). If this latest ploy (Sereno’s) will not work, then there will be a full court SC press in the person of Sereno, Bernabe, Leonen and Reyes. That should galvanized the united stand of the rest of the SC Justices who are being insulted by these hollow threats into deciding (and because of their being taken for granted by this administration) retroactively at the outset of this administration that the DAP is unconstitutional and shall order the administration to fully account all DAP expenditures and order all officials who has something to do with the DAP disbursement to return all funds from the DAP to the national treasury or face contempt of court. That contempt citation would have included Noy2 but for his presidential immunity. However, Abad, could wind up in jail. Ika nga, “lintik lang ang walang ganti”. Noy will be prosecuted after his term and will receive worse treatment than what he is doling out to GMA.

    30. And here we go the merry ways of tinkering, machinations, arms-twisting(“braso-han”-,sa salita’ng kanto ng mga siga daw sa batas) with tons, and tons of sacks of of moolah being dangled to the hoodlums in robes for a favorable ruling …to make a more gentle animal in this Beast of the Jungle called DAP.