Poking fun at A-bad

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Friday, July 11, 2014


MALACANANG quickly absolved Budget Secretary Butch Abad of any wrongdoing in relation to the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) secretary general, also quickly hit presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda for saying Abad did not personally benefit from some P170 billion in DAP funds.

“What Malacañang did,” Tiangco said, “was clearly in ‘A-bad faith.’”

***

When eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein gave life to his own creature in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel “Frankenstein,” he failed to give his creature a name. That’s why his creature was often referred to as Frankenstein's monster.

The Supreme Court declared the DAP unconstitutional, but not a monster.

It was good Secretary Abad gave it a name. Otherwise, it would have been referred to as “A-bad Fund.’”

***

The DAP was not really bad. Even the Supreme Court, in its ruling, said the program “yielded undeniably positive results that enhanced the economic welfare of the country.”

The High Court cited the doctrine of operative fact for projects “that can no longer be undone and whose beneficiaries relied in good faith on the validity of the DAP.”

But the same doctrine “cannot apply to the authors, proponents and implementers of the DAP, unless there are concrete findings of good faith in their favor by the proper tribunals determining their criminal, civil, administrative and other liabilities.”

***

Secretary Lacierda questioned the decision because it extended “criminal liability” not only to DAP architect Secretary Abad, but also to “good men and women” of the Cabinet who implemented DAP-funded programs and projects.

Well, is has been said that bad things happen to good people.

But the decision also includes a “good faith” escape clause. If they can absolve Abad, they can absolve the rest.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 12, 2014.

Opinion

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