Anti-DAP petitioners present 6 issues for oral argument-A A +A
Thursday, October 31, 2013
PETITIONERS questioning the constitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) proposed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday six issues that may be tackled in an oral argument on November 11.
The debate, which will be from 10 a.m. onwards, will be on the merits of the consolidated petitions as well as the need to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO).
In their proposal, petitioners pushed for discussion on the real nature and legal basis of the DAP (whether it is a fund or a program), the constitutionality of fund releases based on project requests of legislators and definition of savings as used in the Constitution and other relevant issuances.
They also wanted to touch on the legality of the DAP as a program based on existing laws and the constitutionality of the use of DAP funds to augment appropriations under the national budget.
These issues are subject to confirmation by the High Court in its regular session next week, the SC Public Information Office (SC PIO) said.
"The petitioners will submit to the Court, through the member-in-charge, their proposal on how to divide the allotment of time as well as the order and identity of speakers," the SC PIO said.
The Court gave the petitioners and the Office of the Solicitor General (representing the government) 30 minutes each to present their argument. Justices will then pose clarificatory questions to the speakers.
Among others, the seven petitioners found DAP unconstitutional because it was not created by law, the funds were taken from slow moving projects which were not yet completed and it is being used to augment new budget allocations not approved by Congress.
“The DAP has unconstitutionally redefined the functions of the political branches of government to such extent that the members of legislature performed and is performing executive functions and the executive has arrogated unto itself the spending power of Congress,” said losing senatorial candidate Greco Belgica, one of the petitioners.
President Benigno Aquino III, who was named one of the respondents, justified on Wednesday night the implementation of DAP, saying it has been used to spend both savings and additional revenues. (Sunnex)