Senator: Leave DAP's fate to SC-A A +A
Sunday, November 3, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III should just wait for the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) instead of defending its merits on primetime television last week, a senator said Sunday.
"If we really want to explain the benefits then it would be more appropriate if the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) explains this in detail at the proper forum wherein the facts of the DAP can be scrutinized and discussed," said Senator Nancy Binay.
One forum would be the Senate as Binay supported Senator JV Ejercito's resolution seeking an inquiry into the DAP.
In Senate Resolution 287, Ejercito wanted to look into allegations that DAP has been funded by government's slow-moving projects and not from savings. He said this may be considered a violation of the Constitution.
"President Aquino mentioned the projects where the DAP was used but let's look further as to what were these projects, did these really need to be accelerated and prioritized? Who really benefitted from these projects?" Binay asked.
Binay said the Senate inquiry would be different from the Supreme Court hearing on November 11 as it may touch and discuss certain dimensions of the program, citing the Senate is after an "structural inquiry rather than a legal examination."
Aquino said he is empowered by the Constitution to realign savings, which he used to ramp up the economy through infrastructure projects starting in late 2011. He even cited the report of the World Bank, noting that the DAP boosted the country’s economy by 1.3 percent on that year.
"It was obviously a desperate move to call the attention of the Supreme Court to contemplate on the supposed benefits of DAP," said Navotas City Representative Toby Tiangco, secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
UNA, which challenged the Liberal Party’s dominance in the midterm elections, is certain that Aquino took the "unprecedented route" of going live on television to pressure the SC to toe his line.
"The SC should stand their ground, otherwise, mawawalan ng saysay ang demokrasya," Tiangco said.
The High Court earlier consolidated the seven petitions challenging DAP’s legality. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)