SC DECLARED CERTAIN  DAP ACTS UNCONSTITUTIONAL; NOTHING RE PNoy, ABAD, ET AL CULPABILITY IN ACTS DEEMED ILLEGAL

PHILSTAR-JULY 1 --The Supreme Court declared yesterday certain acts under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional but said nothing about the culpability of President Aquino, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and other officials involved in acts now considered illegal. In a decision unanimously approved by the justices in full court session, the Supreme Court (SC) said the acts and practices under the DAP violated the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers as well as the provision prohibiting inter-branch transfer of appropriations. The SC specifically declared as illegal the withdrawal of so-called unobligated allotments from implementing agencies and their use as savings before the end of a fiscal year. Cross-border transfers of savings of the executive to augment funds of agencies outside the department as well as funding of projects and programs not covered in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) were also declared unconstitutional. The SC also voided the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the national treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets. The constitutional violations cited for DAP were the same ones used by the high court in its ruling last year declaring the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) unconstitutional. Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin penned the ruling, which was not immediately made available as it did not yet have the signatures of the 13 justices. There were also five separate opinions on the case. Facing the press after the issuance of the ruling, SC spokesman Theodore Te only read certain portions of the decision, and did not touch on issues involving the possible culpability of the President and other officials. * READ MORE...

ALSO: DAP unconstitutional

MANILA BULLETIN - JULY 1 --The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday declared unconstitutional the acts committed by the executive branch in implementing the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and related issuances. Voting 13-0 during its regular en banc session yesterday, the SC voided the use of unprogrammed funds by the executive branch despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets for non-compliance with the conditions provided for in the General Appropriations Act. In a briefing document issued to media, the SC partially granted the petitions for certiorari and prohibition filed by the petitioners and declared the following acts and practices under the DAP, National Budget Circular No. 541, and related executive issuances as unconstitutional. An SC insider explained that while the word “partially granted” was used in the ruling, the SC has declared the whole DAP as unconstitutional. “The word ‘partially granted’ was used because other prayers of the petitioners, like disclosure of documents, were not granted because they were moot already,” the insider stressed. UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTS ...* READ MORE...

ALSO: DAP unconstitutional – SC

MANILA TIMES - JULY 1 --Photo-The dispositive portion of the Supreme Court ruling on DAP--The Manila Times hit the nail right on the head when the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional, with 13 justices out of 14 voting against it. In an exclusive report on June 16, The Times said an overwhelming majority of the SC justices would rule that the program—a brainchild of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)—is illegal. In their en banc session on Tuesday, the justices were unanimous in declaring DBM Circular 541 that created DAP illegal and unconstitutional. Thirteen of them concurred with the ponencia of Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin on the unconstitutionality of the controversial program that Malacañang had said was meant to address poverty. Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro inhibited herself from voting since a lawyer-petitioner is very close to her and a seat in the tribunal is still vacant. In the dispositive portion of the decision, the High Court gave three reasons for declaring the program unconstitutional—the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriation Act (GAA), the cross-border transfers of the savings of the executive department to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the executive and the funding of activities, projects and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Lawmakers: No impeachment of Noy

JULY 1 --Leaders of the House of Representatives believe President Aquino did not commit any illegal act in implementing the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). Lawmakers doused cold water yesterday on proposals to impeach the President based on the Supreme Court (SC) decision declaring three provisions of the DAP unconstitutional. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and other senior pro-administration lawmakers defended Aquino after their colleagues from the opposition sought his impeachment, as well as the resignation and filing of charges against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad following the SC decision. In a text message, Belmonte said: “No, he (Aquino) cannot be impeached.” Belmonte said Aquino had implemented the DAP in “good faith,” and with “sincere intentions,” and that realignment of savings has been a longtime practice. No votes would support any impeachment complaint that may be filed in the House, he added. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Groups cry for Aquino’s head after SC ruling vs DAP

JULY 1 --With the Supreme Court’s decision against Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), various groups are now calling for President Benigno Aquino’s head as well as those responsible for DAP. “It is a blow to presidential lump sum and discretionary spending or presidential pork under [President Benigno] Aquino [III]. The big challenge now is accountability. We will pursue this for sure. Aquino and [Budget Secretary Butch] Abad should be answerable to the people,” Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. told reporters. Bayan, together with other groups trooped, to the Supreme Court Tuesday morning to await the Supreme Court’s announcement on whether DAP is illegal or not. Bayan is one of the petitioners in this case. Kabataan partylist said the high court’s ruling on DAP “is a solid ground for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, both of which are impeachable offense.” The Scrap Pork Network through lawyer Argee Guevarra said Malacañang’s silence on the high court’s DAP ruling is a sign of guilt. “The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling on DAP is consistent with its declaration of the unconstitutionality of PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) and should be considered a milestone in the fight against the pork barrel system,” Guevarra said. “The Palace ‘no comment’ on this development should be considered by the public as a tacit admission of guilt over the President’s and DBM (Department of Budget and Management) Secretary Abad’s involvement in government’s novel mechanism for malversation to generate funds to bribe senators during the impeachment of Chief Justice [Renato] Corona,” he added. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Heads must roll at Abad-led DBM after SC ruling on DAP – Jinggoy  

JULY 1  --Heads must roll and budget officials must be held accountable now that the Supreme Court declared the controversy tainted Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional, a detained senator said on Tuesday. “Now that the highest court of the land said that the DAP mechanism is unconstitutional and illegal, heads must roll and budget officials must be held accountable,” Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said in a statement on Tuesday. Estrada has been detained after he was charged with plunder at the Sandiganbayan. “On its face, DAP is unconstitutional. It really has no basis and it’s not even included and nowhere to be found in the General Appropriations Act,” he said.
Estrada then thanked the Supreme Court “for respecting and upholding the Congress’ exclusive power of the purse.” THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Hold Cabinet men, solons ‘equally liable’ in ‘pork’ scam, Sandigan told 

JULY 1 --The former head of an alleged Janet Lim-Napoles’ conduit to lawmakers’ pork barrel funds decried selective persecution in the charges against him, tagging high-ranking Cabinet and Congress officials as “equally liable” to the offenses. Former Technology Resource Center (TRC) director general Antonio Ortiz said this in his motion before the Sandiganbayan fifth division to quash the information against him and recall the arrest warrant.
Ortiz said equally liable were:
* Budget Secretary Florencio Abad
* Senate President Franklin Drilon
* Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
* House appropriations committee chairperson Isidro Ungab
* Former Budget secretaries Emilia Boncodin, Romulo Neri, and Rolando Andaya Jr.
* Former Senate Presidents Manny Villar and Juan Ponce Enrile
* Former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr. And Prospero Nograles
* Former House appropriations committee chairpersons Jose Ma. Salceda and Joseph Emilio Abaya 
“The selective and arbitrary filing of the case against the accused, and biased exclusion of other public officials who appear equally liable, constitute discriminatory persecution,” Ortiz’s motion read. * READ MORE...


Read Full Stories here:

SC strikes down DAP

MANILA, LAGUNA, JULY 6, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Edu Punay - The Supreme Court declared yesterday certain acts under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional but said nothing about the culpability of President Aquino, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and other officials involved in acts now considered illegal.

In a decision unanimously approved by the justices in full court session, the Supreme Court (SC) said the acts and practices under the DAP violated the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers as well as the provision prohibiting inter-branch transfer of appropriations.

The SC specifically declared as illegal the withdrawal of so-called unobligated allotments from implementing agencies and their use as savings before the end of a fiscal year.

Cross-border transfers of savings of the executive to augment funds of agencies outside the department as well as funding of projects and programs not covered in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) were also declared unconstitutional.

The SC also voided the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the national treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets.

The constitutional violations cited for DAP were the same ones used by the high court in its ruling last year declaring the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) unconstitutional.

Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin penned the ruling, which was not immediately made available as it did not yet have the signatures of the 13 justices. There were also five separate opinions on the case.

Facing the press after the issuance of the ruling, SC spokesman Theodore Te only read certain portions of the decision, and did not touch on issues involving the possible culpability of the President and other officials.

* He said the high court only partially granted the nine petitions filed last year by former Manila councilor Greco Belgica, former Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco, lawyers Jose Malvar Villegas Jr. and Manuelito Luna, Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Bayan Muna, Kabataan and Gabriela party-list groups; Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage), and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.

Asked if the decision covers only specific acts enumerated and not the entire DAP, Te replied: “It’s clear what was declared in the dispositive. Only the three acts under DAP and NBC 541 and the use of unprogrammed funds were declared unconstitutional.” NBC 541 is National Budget Circular 541.

A magistrate explained, however, to The STAR that the decision effectively voided the entire DAP.

“The four parts declared unconstitutional effectively cover the entire DAP. The word ‘partially grants’ was used simply because the other prayers of petitioners like disclosure of documents and return of funds were not granted for being moot,” the magistrate who declined to be named said in a text message.

The petitioners immediately welcomed the SC decision, but stressed it’s still too early to celebrate as the high court has yet to reveal the entire contents of the ruling.

Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan called the SC decision a “partial victory.” But Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes, who led a group of protesters outside the SC while awaiting the ruling, said their fight against DAP is not yet over until executive officials are held liable.

“It is a blow to presidential lump sum and discretionary spending or presidential pork under Aquino. The big challenge now is accountability. We will pursue this for sure. President Aquino and Secretary Abad should be answerable to the people,” he told reporters.

Another petitioner in the case, former national treasurer Leonor Briones, agreed with Reyes.

The SC decision on DAP is expected to set the stage for the prosecution of those who may have misused government funds.

The case was heard in three-part oral arguments last January and February.

In their petition, anti-DAP groups argued that the program – like PDAF – violates the exclusive power of Congress to appropriate funds.

But the Office of the Solicitor General said there was no need for the SC to entertain the petitions since the President had already abolished DAP.

Congress, represented by retired SC Justice Vicente Mendoza in the case, also asked the high court to dismiss the petitions, citing lack of jurisdiction.

In the hearing, the former SC justice contended that the petitioners failed to exhaust all other legal remedies before bringing the matter to the court.

He said the petitioners should have challenged the implementation of DAP first before the Commission on Audit or trial courts.

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

DAP unconstitutional by Leonard Postrado July 1, 2014

SC, voting 13-0, strikes down several acts under the program

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday declared unconstitutional the acts committed by the executive branch in implementing the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and related issuances.

Voting 13-0 during its regular en banc session yesterday, the SC voided the use of unprogrammed funds by the executive branch despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets for non-compliance with the conditions provided for in the General Appropriations Act.

In a briefing document issued to media, the SC partially granted the petitions for certiorari and prohibition filed by the petitioners and declared the following acts and practices under the DAP, National Budget Circular No. 541, and related executive issuances as unconstitutional.

An SC insider explained that while the word “partially granted” was used in the ruling, the SC has declared the whole DAP as unconstitutional.

“The word ‘partially granted’ was used because other prayers of the petitioners, like disclosure of documents, were not granted because they were moot already,” the insider stressed.

UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTS

The acts declared as unconstitutional were:

a. The withdrawal of unobligated allotments from implementing agencies, and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Acts.

b. The cross-border transfers of savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the executive.

c. The funding of projects, activities and programs that were not covered by any appropriationin the General Appropriations Act.

“The court further declares void the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets for non-compliance with the conditions provided in the relevant General Appropriations Acts,” read the dispositive ruling of the High Court, which was penned by SC Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin.

In a press conference, SC Spokesman Theodore Te said the magistrates held that the respondents led by President Aquino violated Section 25 (5) Article VI of the Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers in implementing DAP, National Budget Circular No. 541 and other related issuances.

Article VI, Section 25 (5) of the Constitution authorizes the President and heads of other branches of government and constitutional commissions to augment any item in GAA for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.

Te said Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., who is on official leave, left his vote on the issue with Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. Only SC Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro inhibited from the case.

“Subject to the views expressed by some justices in their separate opinions, the Court en banc voting unanimously…partially granted the petitions for certiorari and prohibition challenging the Disbrusement Acceleration Program…,” Te said.

NO BRAINER – MIRIAM

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago praised the SC decision and stressed that such a ruling is “basically a no brainer.”

“The DAP is illegal because it was not contained in the 2011 or 2012 budgets and because the alleged savings are used to augment new budget items which was not previously authorized by Congress,” Santiago, a former University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law constitutional law professor, said.

Santiago said she had anticipated this ruling months even before the matter reached the high court.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, Santiago renewed her call for the Commission on Audit (COA) to investigate the alleged bribery by Malacañang of Congress members during the impeachment trial at the Senate of then Chief Justice Renato C. Corona in connection with the DAP.

JINGGOY: PROBE BRAINS OF DAP

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, now detained on charges of plunder and graft in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam, said the government must go after officials who concocted this budget scheme now that the SC has handed down its ruling.

“Now that the highest court of the land said that the DAP mechanism is unconstitutional and illegal, heads must roll and budget officials must be held accountable,” Estrada said in a statement.

“The SC ruling will be put to waste and will mean nothing if those accountable will not be punished. Malacanang could even use it to justify the future disbursements,” Anakpawis party-list Rep. Fernando Hicap said.

Buhay Party-List Rep. Lito Atienza said, “the one who conceived, concocted, conceptualized, and designed‎ DAP should take full responsibility.”

“Secretary Abad should divulge the full amount of DAP releases and disbursements. After this, he should resign for compromising the government, that’s a natural consequence,” he said.

It was Estrada who first exposed the existence of the DAP in privilege speech at the Senate after he was implicated in the P10-billion pork barrel fund scam.

He insinuated that senators were “bribed” with P50 million each allegedly sourced from the DAP to secure a conviction for Corona who was impeached by the House of Representatives.

Following Estrada’s exposé, Malacañang and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad later confirmed the existence of the DAP but insisting it was legal and meant to accelerate the country’s sluggish economy.

OUST-PNOY MOVE PREMATURE, BASELESS

Maintaining that the Aquino government’s disbursement acceleration program fueled country’s economic growth, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone and Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo branded yesterday as “premature and baseless” any move to oust President Aquino following the SC verdict on DAP.

“The planned impeachment case against Pnoy based on SC DAP ruling is premature, baseless and will not hold water. In the first place, DAP contributed a lot to the country’s economic growth and funded viable and productive programs of the government,” Evardone said.

DECISION HAILED

The petitioners hailed the decision of the SC to declare DAP, including DBM Circular 541 unconstitutional.

Renato Reyes, secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said the SC decision on DAP was a big blow to presidential lump sum and discretionary spending or presidential pork under the Aquino administration.

He maintains that President Aquino and Abad should be held accountable for the illegal use of presidential pork.

“Billions were spent as presidential pork used to influence Congress. Something illegal was committed. Someone must be held to account. We’re referring to you, Mr. President. All legal options are on the table,” Reyes said in an e-mailed statement to reporters.

Bayan and #ScrapThePork Alliance staged a noise barrage protest in Mabuhay Rotunda immediately after the Supreme Court declared the DAP unconstitutional.

Bayan Metro Manila and #ScrapThePork Alliance urged President Aquino to return the almost P142.23 billion DAP in 2011 and 2012 that it allotted to various projects back to the national budget. More than the return of the DAP funds, the groups said that President Aquino, Abad and other architects of DAP are answerable to the people and should be prosecuted for firmly pushing and defending DAP in time of the pork barrel controversy last year up to now.

The groups also hope that the Supreme Court will not just stop in ruling out DAP as unconstitutional but must also step up in punishing personalities involved in such a huge crime against the people.

Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Chairman Elmer Labog said Aquino should be probed for his alleged involvement with DAP.

“We are calling for a thorough investigation into how Aquino used the DAP funds,” he added. (With reports from Mario B. Casayuran, Hannah L. Torregoza, Charissa M. Luci, and Samuel P. Medenilla)

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

DAP unconstitutional – SC July 1, 2014 10:59 pm by Jomar Canlas Senior Reporter


The dispositive portion of the Supreme Court ruling on DAP

The Manila Times hit the nail right on the head when the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional, with 13 justices out of 14 voting against it.

In an exclusive report on June 16, The Times said an overwhelming majority of the SC justices would rule that the program—a brainchild of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)—is illegal.

In their en banc session on Tuesday, the justices were unanimous in declaring DBM Circular 541 that created DAP illegal and unconstitutional.

Thirteen of them concurred with the ponencia of Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin on the unconstitutionality of the controversial program that Malacañang had said was meant to address poverty.

Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro inhibited herself from voting since a lawyer-petitioner is very close to her and a seat in the tribunal is still vacant.

In the dispositive portion of the decision, the High Court gave three reasons for declaring the program unconstitutional—the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriation Act (GAA), the cross-border transfers of the savings of the executive department to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the executive and the funding of activities, projects and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA.

*  The Supreme Court also voided the use of unprogrammed funds in the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that revenue collections exceeded revenue targets.

Prospective DAP

The SC is yet to officially issue a ruling on the prospectivity of the application of DAP’s unconstitutionality.

A source of The Times, however, said the justices agreed unanimously that the acceleration program must be “operative in application” under the doctrine of operative facts, provided that good faith and equity must be proved by the “masterminds” of the program—President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

According to the source, Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Mariano del Castillo voted that DAP in its entirety is not unconstitutional.

But del Castillo sought the filing of appropriate charges against those who abused and misused DAP.

No-brainer

Senators welcomed the SC ruling, saying it upheld Congress’ power of the purse.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago praised the High Court and described the DAP case as “basically a no-brainer.” She said the program was not included in the 2011 or 2012 budgets and the use of alleged savings to augment new budget items was not authorized by Congress.

Santiago added that the Budget department should have sought the approval of Congress because it has sole authority on budget appropriations.

She reiterated her call for the Commission on Audit to look into the alleged bribery of lawmakers during the impeachment trial of then-Chief Justice Renato Corona using DAP funds.

It was Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada who revealed that some senators received additional funds from the acceleration program.

“Both the pork barrel and DAP scandals are equally repulsive and the SC declared both funds as unconstitutional,” Santiago noted.

Estrada, who is detained for plunder, also welcomed the SC decision and sought penalty for those behind implementation of the program.

“I thank the Supreme Court for respecting and upholding Congress’ exclusive power of the purse,” he noted. “Heads must roll and Budget officials must be held accountable.”

Sen. Francis Escudero expressed satisfaction with the ruling, saying it will have “far reaching consequences and effects on government budgeting and disbursement processes.”

Escudero committed to conduct a prompt and thorough review aimed at having the results included in the 2015 and succeeding budgets.

Sen. Ralph Recto also supported the SC’s decision, pointing out that “it will definitely strengthen Congress’ power of the purse.”

He, however, said that while there could have been oversight on how funds were released, the money was properly spent.
With a report from Lulu Principe

FROM PHILSTAR

Lawmakers: No impeachment of Noy By Paolo Romero and Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 2, 2014 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Leaders of the House of Representatives believe President Aquino did not commit any illegal act in implementing the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Lawmakers doused cold water yesterday on proposals to impeach the President based on the Supreme Court (SC) decision declaring three provisions of the DAP unconstitutional.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and other senior pro-administration lawmakers defended Aquino after their colleagues from the opposition sought his impeachment, as well as the resignation and filing of charges against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad following the SC decision.

In a text message, Belmonte said: “No, he (Aquino) cannot be impeached.”

Belmonte said Aquino had implemented the DAP in “good faith,” and with “sincere intentions,” and that realignment of savings has been a longtime practice.

No votes would support any impeachment complaint that may be filed in the House, he added.

* Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III said he does not believe that the House of Representatives would support the planned impeachment process and eventually vote to impeach Aquino.

“Since impeachment is largely political in nature, this plan will fail,” he said. “How can you impeach a popular President?” Albano said Aquino still enjoys wide support from both the House and the Senate and from the public.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said he does not think the plan would succeed.

“It is baseless and will not hold water,” he said. “In the first place, DAP contributed a lot to the country’s economic growth, as it funded viable and productive programs. It’s just unfortunate that the Supreme Court saw it in bad light.”

Evardone said he believes that an impeachment case against Aquino “would not even go past the committee level.”

“I think it will die there,” he said.

Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe said Aquino and Abad committed no crime in implementing DAP.

“There can be no liability because they did their jobs in good faith prior to the declaration by the Supreme Court of DAP as unconstitutional,” he said.

The SC even implicitly recognized the power of the President to realign savings within the executive department, but that Malacañang cannot do “cross-border” realignment to other branches of government, and cannot declare unobligated funds as savings before yearend, Batocabe said.

Marikina City Rep. Federico Quimbo said any impeachment against Aquino on the basis of the SC decision on the DAP would have no basis in law or in jurisprudence.

“Prior to the decision, it was in fact legal,” he said.

“These circumstances clearly will not make DAP of such a character as to make it culpable violation of the Constitution.”

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said he was surprised by the decision, and that the proper move was for Malacañang to file a motion for reconsideration.

On the other hand, Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon said the next step would be to ensure that Aquino and Abad “would be held accountable for inventing and abusing” the DAP.

“We have always been certain on the unconstitutionality of the DAP,” he said.

“We will be readying all necessary charges against officials involved in its implementation. But more important is that this constitutes the impeachable offense of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.”

Ridon said the SC ruling is a “solid ground” for impeaching Aquino.

“It will greatly bolster the case against President Aquino,” he said.

Ridon said Kabataan will now prepare an impeachment complaint against Aquino and the appropriate charges against Abad. – With Marvin Sy

FROM THE INQUIRER

Groups cry for Aquino’s head after SC ruling vs DAP By Tetch Torres-Tupas |INQUIRER.net6:59 pm | Tuesday, July 1st, 2014


Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—With the Supreme Court’s decision against Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), various groups are now calling for President Benigno Aquino’s head as well as those responsible for DAP.

“It is a blow to presidential lump sum and discretionary spending or presidential pork under [President Benigno] Aquino [III]. The big challenge now is accountability. We will pursue this for sure. Aquino and [Budget Secretary Butch] Abad should be answerable to the people,” Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. told reporters.

Bayan, together with other groups trooped, to the Supreme Court Tuesday morning to await the Supreme Court’s announcement on whether DAP is illegal or not. Bayan is one of the petitioners in this case.

Kabataan partylist said the high court’s ruling on DAP “is a solid ground for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, both of which are impeachable offense.”

The Scrap Pork Network through lawyer Argee Guevarra said Malacañang’s silence on the high court’s DAP ruling is a sign of guilt.

“The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling on DAP is consistent with its declaration of the unconstitutionality of PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) and should be considered a milestone in the fight against the pork barrel system,” Guevarra said.

“The Palace ‘no comment’ on this development should be considered by the public as a tacit admission of guilt over the President’s and DBM (Department of Budget and Management) Secretary Abad’s involvement in government’s novel mechanism for malversation to generate funds to bribe senators during the impeachment of Chief Justice [Renato] Corona,” he added.

Heads must roll at Abad-led DBM after SC ruling on DAP – Jinggoy By Maila Ager |INQUIRER.net3:11 pm | Tuesday, July 1st, 2014


JINGGOY ON WAY TO JAIL WITH HIS FATHER ERAP

MANILA, Philippines – Heads must roll and budget officials must be held accountable now that the Supreme Court declared the controversy tainted Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional, a detained senator said on Tuesday.

“Now that the highest court of the land said that the DAP mechanism is unconstitutional and illegal, heads must roll and budget officials must be held accountable,” Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said in a statement on Tuesday.

Estrada has been detained after he was charged with plunder at the Sandiganbayan.

“On its face, DAP is unconstitutional. It really has no basis and it’s not even included and nowhere to be found in the General Appropriations Act,” he said.

Estrada then thanked the Supreme Court “for respecting and upholding the Congress’ exclusive power of the purse.”

Hold Cabinet men, solons ‘equally liable’ in ‘pork’ scam, Sandigan told By Marc Jayson Cayabyab |INQUIRER.net1:35 pm | Tuesday, July 1st,


DRILON, ABAD

MANILA, Philippines — The former head of an alleged Janet Lim-Napoles’ conduit to lawmakers’ pork barrel funds decried selective persecution in the charges against him, tagging high-ranking Cabinet and Congress officials as “equally liable” to the offenses.
Former Technology Resource Center (TRC) director general Antonio Ortiz said this in his motion before the Sandiganbayan fifth division to quash the information against him and recall the arrest warrant.
Ortiz said equally liable were:
* Budget Secretary Florencio Abad
* Senate President Franklin Drilon
* Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
* House appropriations committee chairperson Isidro Ungab
* Former Budget secretaries Emilia Boncodin, Romulo Neri, and Rolando Andaya Jr.
* Former Senate Presidents Manny Villar and Juan Ponce Enrile
* Former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr. And Prospero Nograles
* Former House appropriations committee chairpersons Jose Ma. Salceda and Joseph Emilio Abaya
“The selective and arbitrary filing of the case against the accused, and biased exclusion of other public officials who appear equally liable, constitute discriminatory persecution,” Ortiz’s motion read.
* Ortiz said documentary evidence would show that “there are other public officials and persons who jointly or by their indispensable cooperation, committed the same offense, together with the named accused, in the above-captioned cases.”
Enrile and Drilon were also tagged as former Senate finance committee chairpersons while Andaya as former appropriations chairperson.
Among the incumbents tagged by Ortiz, the following are allies of President Benigno Aquino III – Abad, Drilon, Belmonte, and Ungab.
Andaya, now Camarines Sur Representative, was accused of allegedly receiving P255 million from alleged pork scam mastermind Napoles while he was budget secretary.
Andaya also reportedly signed almost all the special allotment release orders (Saros) from 2007 to 2009 issued to the three senators – Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile – indicted for plunder in the Sandiganbayan.
While Andaya has not been charged for his involvement in the pork barrel scam, he is implicated in the Malampaya Fund scam, in which P900 million meant for agrarian reform communities devastated by storms in 2009 was allegedly pocketed by officials through bogus nongovernment organizations (NGOs) created by Napoles.
Faced with graft charges, Ortiz left for San Francisco, California, on Sept. 6, 2013 long before the Sandiganbayan issued a hold-departure order against him.
Since he is still out of the country, Ortiz is considered at large and has yet to post bail from his seven counts of graft.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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