2nd round of DAP oral arguments moved to January 2014

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Monday, December 9, 2013

MALACANANG and Congress could not justify yet the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) on Tuesday after the Supreme Court granted the request of the two branches of government to move it to a later date.

The second round of oral arguments will be held instead on January 28, 2014, according to a resolution released by the SC on Monday.

SC spokesperson Theodore Te said the Senate and the House of Representatives wanted more time to prepare for the debate because they will be tapping lawyers outside the Office of the Solicitor General. They were given 10 days to notify the Court of the names of their chosen counsels.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which also called for the resetting, shall furnish to the Court on or before January 21, 2014 a list of all sources of funds brought under the DAP and the uses of such funds pursuant to DAP per project or activity and the legal bases.

This action came after former Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco Jr., one of the nine petitioners, asked the Court to require DBM to reveal all fund sources of DAP, which supposedly used savings to ramp up the economy saddled by state underspending in 2011.

Syjuco said the case cannot be "appropriately adjudicated" by the justices if the sources of funds or savings and their usage will not be brought to light.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad earlier refused to divulge more information about the utilization of DAP funds in deference to the sub-judice rule, which bars parties from discussing the merits of the case in public.

The SC heard the petitioners' arguments last November 19. (Sunnex)

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