Oral arguments on DAP set October 22-A A +A
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
THE Supreme Court (SC) has set the oral arguments on the petitions questioning the legality of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) on October 22.
In a post of the High Court's official Twitter account, @SCPh_PIO, it said: "DAP petitions will be heard on October 22 at 2 p.m. SC has ordered respondents to comment on DAP petitions within non-extendible 10 days."
"The issue of the DAP will be tacked separately through consolidated three petitions challenging the DAP--Syjuco, Luna and Malvar Villegas," another post said.
Three petitions were filed challenging the constitutionality of DAP. The petitioners are Jose Malvar Villegas Jr., Manuelito Luna, and more recently former Iloilo representative Augusto Syjuco.
In Syjuco's petition filed Monday, the former lawmaker said the administration unlawfully re-aligned taxpayers' money without the backing of Congress and released the funds to legislators, who belong to a different branch of government.
"This program has been implemented, being implemented and to be continuously implemented by the respondents with the use of public funds to damage and prejudice every taxpayer of this country who contributes to the collection and accumulation of public funds," the petition stated.
The DAP became controversial after Senator Jinggoy Estrada disclosed in a privilege speech that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) allocated P50 million each to senators who voted to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad admitted giving additional funds on top of the P200 million priority development assistance funds (PDAF) of senators last year. Abad said this as part of the DAP to ramp up spending and help accelerate economic expansion.
Members of the House of Representatives also got P10 million to P15 million but several congressmen say they did not know it was part of the DBM's DAP. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)