Aquino: SC had also DAP-like mechanism

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


IN FURTHER defending the constitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), President Benigno Aquino III said Wednesday that the Supreme Court (SC) had similar mechanism wherein the budget of an agency under the executive branch was also used by the judiciary.

In a speech at the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini, Aquino said that undertaking DAP, which the High Court declared as unconstitutional, was not a haphazard decision on the part of the executive branch.

"Hindi ito gawa-gawa o imbento; may mga batas tayong pinagbatayan nito, pangunahin na nga po ang Administrative Code of 1987, na naniniwala tayong nakaayon naman sa ating Saligang Batas. Bukod dito, naidiin pa ang paninindigan nating naaayon sa batas ang DAP, dahil ang mismong Korte Suprema ay sumang-ayon din sa ganitong klaseng mekanismo," he said.

The President cited that in July 2012, the SC had savings amounting to P1.865 billion and this amount was earmarked to augment the fund meant for the construction of the Manila Hall of Justice.

The groundbreaking event for the building took place in August of the same year, he said.

But he said, "the problem was that the item in the budget for this project was under the Department of Justice."

"Malinaw po: Ang pera ng hudikatura, inilaan nila para sa proyektong ehekutibo dapat ang gumagawa," he added.

Aquino also noted that in 2012, the DOJ had P100 million for the Manila Hall of Justice and the executive received a letter of request from the SC.

Reading a portion of the High Court's resolution on the request, he said, "Wherefore, the court hereby requests the Department of Budget and Management to approve the transfer of the amount of P100 million which was included in the Department of Justice – Justice Infrastructure Program for Fiscal Year 2012 budget for the Manila Hall of Justice to the budget of the judiciary, subject to existing policies and procedures, to be used for the construction of the Malabon Hall of Justice."

He said the SC was asking the executive, which is a separate branch of government, to transfer the funds that were supposed to be used in the construction of buildings that would house the courts.

"Wala naman po tayong nakikitang masama rito, dahil alam nating mapapabilis nito ang sistemang pangkatarungan sa bansa. Binawi nila ang kanilang hiling noong Disyembre 2013, kung kailan nagiging mainit na ang usapin ukol sa DAP. Pero malinaw na naman po sa mga halimbawang ito ang pagtatangkang magsagawa ng tinatawag nilang cross-border transfer, o ang paglalaan ng pondo mula sa isang sangay ng gobyerno tungo sa ibang sangay," he explained.

In the examples he cited, the President said the executive branch did not initiate or offer anything.

"Hindi po natin hinangad na makialam sa poder o tungkulin ng ibang sangay ng gobyerno; hindi kami humingi ng kapalit. Ang tanong lang po para sa atin: Makakadulot ba ang mga ito ng benepisyo sa taumbayan? Kung makakatulong nga po, bakit naman ipagkakait ang pagkakataong mapabilis ang paghatid ng serbisyo sa ating mga Boss?" he added.

The President reiterated that the method his administration used has been used also by the previous administrations.

"At dahil nga po ginawa rin ito ng Korte Suprema—na siya naman talagang may kakayahan at may tanging mandatong magbigay-interpretasyon ng mga batas—lalong tumibay ang ating paniniwala natin na nasa tama ang ating mga kilos," he said.

The Palace, through the Office of the Solicitor General, has filed a motion for reconsideration on the SC decision against DAP.

Aquino faces several impeachment complaints before the House of Representatives following the high tribunal's decision. (SDR/Sunnex)

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