Aquino urged to respect SC’s decision on DAP

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014


A LAWMAKER urged President Benigno Aquino III to stop issuing irresponsible statement following his two separate speeches indirectly threatening the magistrates of the Supreme Court on the matter of declaring the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that Aquino should refrain from issuing critical words that can create a possible clash between the executive and judiciary branches.

"That is why the threat to the SC was totally irresponsible. The President should not forget that he does not have any power over the High Tribunal, and that it is the final arbiter or interpreter of anything about the law. He himself described the SC as a co-equal branch of the Executive," Romualdez said after the President hit the SC for outlawing key provisions of Disbursement Acceleration Program.

Meanwhile House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr. defended Aquino, saying the President is just doing his job to propel the economy using DAP scheme.

"Naipaliwanag niya na maraming mabuting nagawa ang DAP at may pinagbatayan na batas na hindi naman nadeclared na unconstitutional," Belmonte said.

For his part, Barzaga said, "President Aquino’s message is crystal clear: his government cannot just stand idly and watch the people suffer because of slow public spending."

"People's lives are at stake here and for every delay, it is the citizens especially the poorest of the poor, who bear the brunt of an inefficient system of spending," Barzaga said.

After Aquino's televised speech on Monday, the Chief Executive once again defended the DAP and slammed the decision of the high court on Tuesday in his speech during the visit of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Romualdez said whoever advised President Aquino to threaten the SC with a possible clash for ruling the DAP as unconstitutional should be fired.

"Too bad, the President’s address was only about his insistence on the legality of DAP due to the good faith and good intention behind it, blaming the Arroyo administration again and threat the SC. He tried to justify the legality of DAP with a provision in the Administrative Code, But even non-lawyers are aware that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land," said Romualdez.

He explained the Constitution had been violated with the DAP "so somebody must be held accountable. Good faith or good intention does not exempt anyone from penalties for violating the law."

"Justice is what the people want for the DAP. They deserve nothing less. Let's give it to them, then move on. The country has scores of problems for the government to address," Romualdez added.

Paranaque City Representative Gus Tambunting backed the position of Romualdez, appealing to President Aquino to "follow the SC's decision and not to challenge it."

"He should move on and try to do what he can with whatever funds are still available and that he can use legally to improve the country in his last two years. He should no longer engage in partisan politics and try to unify the country," said Tambunting. (Sunnex)

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