Ex-lawmaker urges SC anew to clip DAP implementation

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Friday, December 13, 2013

FORMER Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco Jr. asked the Supreme Court (SC) again on Friday to stop the further implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), noting that government funds are continually being misused under controversial spending scheme.

This is the third time for Syjuco to call for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the DAP as his pleadings dated October 21 and November 20 have yet to be acted upon.

He said the reiterations are brought about by the “consistent clamor” of the public seeking relief from the “evils” of DAP, whose constitutionality is under question for allegedly using taxpayers’ money without a law that sanctions its disbursements and for passing off as savings the funds coming from slow-moving projects.

The Court started hearing the consolidated petitions against the DAP last November 19. It was supposed to hold the second round of oral argument last Tuesday but decided to transfer it to January 28, 2014 after granting the motions filed by Malacañang and Congress.

“The transfer of the oral arguments delays the death of DAP. For another 47 days, the DAP is assured of continuous existence. Its users and proponents have good reason to cheer for acquiesce of this Supreme Court, they still have yet another 47 days to make use of the DAP to raid our national coffers,” said Syjuco in his urgent motion.

While the SC was fast in issuing a TRO on the now unconstitutional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), Syjuco noted how the justices have been “disappointingly lackadaisical” in restraining the further implementation of the DAP.

On Thursday, a newspaper report said Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has been trying to convince the justices to rule in favor of the DAP, which was also allegedly used to bribe senators who voted for the impeachment of Sereno’s predecessor Renato Corona in May last year.

Sereno is an appointee of President Benigno Aquino III. Other Aquino appointees in the High Court are Associate Justices Bienvenido Reyes, Marvic Leonen and Estela Perlas-Bernabe, who wrote the landmark decision against PDAF or popularly known as pork barrel. (Sunnex)

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