BUTCH ABAD: I WILL STAY  

JULY 12 --Embattled Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad on Saturday said he would defer to President Benigno Aquino’s “better judgment and stay.” “Although I was wholly prepared to relinquish my post, I am grateful for the President’s expression of his continuing trust and confidence in my leadership of the department,” said Abad, whose resignation was rejected by Aquino on Friday. “I have thus chosen to defer to his better judgment and stay.” Abad tendered his resignation Thursday amid calls to quit his post after the Supreme Court on July 1 ruled that Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was illegal. This discretionary fund similar to the graft-tainted “pork” barrel fund of Congress was Abad’s brainchild. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Abad offering to quit: Bad script, acting  

JULY 12 --A badly acted farce. This was how the opposition described the offered resignation of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and President Benigno Aquino III’s decision on Friday not to accept it as calls escalated for Abad’s head in the face of the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). It was the first time that the President had commented on the Supreme Court decision, though his various spokespersons had been defending him, saying Mr. Aquino had done nothing wrong and everything was done “in good faith.”  “It is clear that Abad’s resignation, which was not irrevocable and lacked sincerity and Mr. Aquino’s refusal to accept it was out of self-interest,” said Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, the secretary general of the nominally oppositionist United Nationalist Alliance. “I believe it’s a matter of I’ll-cover-your-back-you-cover-mine kind of arrangement. Malacañang has already absolved Abad from any wrongdoing, and by protecting Abad, the Palace is also protecting the interest of the President,” said Tiangco, who is closely allied with Vice President Jejomar Binay. “It was a case of (having) a bad script and bad acting. Maybe they should hire Nora Aunor to learn how to act better,” he said. Party-list lawmakers in the House of Representatives said the President was “openly defying the law” by not accepting Abad’s resignation on the grounds that he could not accept that Abad’s acts with regard to the DAP were wrong. This act of Mr. Aquino would only further their resolve to impeach him for betrayal of public trust, they said. Binay not applauding * READ MORE...

ALSO: Come clean on DAP, Escudero tells Abad  

JULY 12 --Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero now wants Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to come clean on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) junked by the Supreme Court last week. Escudero on Monday said it was Abad’s job to disclose details of appropriations and projects under the stimulus program at the hearing by the finance committee, possibly this month. So far, Escudero said the figures submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the DAP, a mechanism introduced in 2011 to pump-prime the economy, did not tally with those in news reports. Besides, Escudero admitted that senators were clueless whether DBM’s allocations for their pet projects in 2011 and 2012 came from the DAP, or from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the congressional pork barrel. “That’s the problem. We don’t know,” he told reporters when asked if he could account for his projects funded with the DAP. Escudero stopped short of calling for Abad’s resignation, saying this was a personal decision. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino to speak to the nation about DAP Monday

JULY 12 --President Benigno Aquino III will speak about his government’s controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program in a national broadcast on Monday ahead of his State of the Nation Address, Malacañang said Saturday. The President will address the nation from Malacañang around 6 p.m. Monday, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said in an advisory. “Broadcast networks have been requested to air the President’s speech on current national issues,” Coloma said. He confirmed the main issue would be DAP, which has been struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, but did not elaborate. Last Friday, the President announced he had rejected Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad’s resignation over the DAP issue. On Saturday, Abad said the President, by rejecting his resignation, agreed there was nothing irregular about the DAP. “I was elated that in rejecting my resignation, he made it once again very clear his firm conviction that there is nothing wrong with DAP. In fact, as he quoted the SC, it did the country good,” Abad said in a text message. Following the Supreme Court ruling, the President has been deluged with calls to address DAP issue when he delivers his annual State of the Nation Address on July 28. Meanwhile, Palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said Saturday that persistent calls for Abad to resign were now irrelevant after Aquino announcement on Friday that he had rejected the budget secretary’s offer to quit. “The President has made a decision. We would be just kicking the can around if we still discuss why the resignation wasn’t revocable or irrevocable,” Valte said over government-run radio dzRB. Whether one agreed with the President or not, the “fact remains that the President has made his decision,” she added. “So perhaps, let it stop there. On the matter of Secretary Butch Abad staying or leaving, the President has made his decision.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy, Abad not necessarily liable for DAP – former Chief Justice Panganiban 

President Benigno Aquino III and Budget Secretary Butch Abad are not necessarily liable for the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said in an interview with GMA News. Panganiban, in an interview on GMA's "24 Oras" aired Saturday evening, said the Supreme Court (SC) only declared four acts and practices of the DAP unconstitutional, and not the program in its entirety. Specifically, the Supreme Court ruled that the following aspects of DAP were 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 Appropriations Act; the cross-border transfers of the savings of the executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the executive; and the funding of projects, activities and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA. “How can it be unconstitutional? It's a power granted by the Constitution to the heads of the various branches of government. But acts done under it may be unconstitutional,” Panganiban said in the report. Panganiban also explained that the SC ruling on petitions against DAP read "partially granted" because only parts of the program were unconstitutional. He said the president's power to augment the budget of certain offices in the executive branch remains. “Hindi naman alam ng mga taong 'yun nung time na 'yun na unconstitutional pala 'yung batas or 'yung action... Pero tama na, hindi na puwede [ang DAP] in the future. Sa kinabukaasan pag ginawa pa uli 'yun, 'yung savings na hindi dapat gawing savings ginawa po ulit lahat sila liable na,” Panganiban said. Last Thursday, Abad tendered his resignation as Budget secretary following the SC's ruling on DAP. However, President Benigno Aquino III rejected Abad's resignation. “Although I was wholly prepared to relinquish my post, I am grateful for the president’s expression of his continuing trust and confidence in my leadership of the department. I have thus chosen to defer to his better judgment and stay,” Abad said in a statement. A plunder complaint has already been filed against Abad at the Office of the Ombudsman over the DAP... THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: What will PNoy do?

Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban might soon find himself under arrest, arraigned and prosecuted because of a libel charge filedFormer Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban might soon have to face libel charges for an article he wrote about the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) against him by Ferdinand Marcos crony Herminio Disini. The “libelous act” that Panganiban is accused of is writing an article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2011 that Disini alleges is an “irresponsible and malicious” attack with regards to his involvement in the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) during the martial law years. You can read Panganiban’s article titled: “After 35 years, still languishing” here and decide for yourself if it is indeed “libelous” or if Philippine laws are once again being used by people with money and power to muzzle the press. But let us step back and try to see things from a broader perspective. This article is after all, not just about a Marcos crony and a former chief justice. During the 1986 EDSA revolution when millions of Filipinos put their lives on the line and literally faced down the tanks of General Fabian Ver, Cory Aquino became president while Marcos and his ilk were sent packing. The dreams and aspirations of the long-oppressed Filipino masses took flight with the ascendancy of the country’s first female president. Mrs. Aquino had as well the blessing and admiration of the entire world. She could have ushered in a new era of unprecedented growth and prosperity for the Philippines. READ MORE...


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Butch Abad: I will stay


THE EMBATTLED AND THE TRUE BELIEVER Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad (left) gets to keep his post after President Aquino rejected his offer to resign. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, JULY 14, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Nestor Corrales — Embattled Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad on Saturday said he would defer to President Benigno Aquino’s “better judgment and stay.”

“Although I was wholly prepared to relinquish my post, I am grateful for the President’s expression of his continuing trust and confidence in my leadership of the department,” said Abad, whose resignation was rejected by Aquino on Friday.

“I have thus chosen to defer to his better judgment and stay.”

Abad tendered his resignation Thursday amid calls to quit his post after the Supreme Court on July 1 ruled that Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was illegal. This discretionary fund similar to the graft-tainted “pork” barrel fund of Congress was Abad’s brainchild.

* “On Thursday, I tendered my resignation from my position as DBM Secretary to the President. This was not without thought or reflection,” he said.

“In the wake of the controversy surrounding the DAP—especially after the adverse Supreme Court ruling that declared parts of the program unconstitutional—it became clear to me that I must abide by the highest standards of accountability that we in the Aquino administration hold ourselves to,” Abad said.

Aquino rejected his resignation, saying, “To accept his resignation is to assign to him a wrong and I cannot accept the notion that doing right by our people is wrong.”

Related story: Aquino won’t let Abad go

Abad said he was grateful for the President’s continued trust and confidence in him.

“I am determined, as I have always been, to do justice to the President’s faith in my integrity and competence,” he said.

“I assure the people that we will proceed with a keener awareness of the standards against which our work will be measured, but also with a deeper appreciation of the great opportunities for reform ahead of us,” he added.

Abad offering to quit: Bad script, acting By DJ Yap and TJ Burgonio |Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:14 am | Saturday, July 12th, 2014


Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco and Senator Francis Escudero. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

A badly acted farce.

This was how the opposition described the offered resignation of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and President Benigno Aquino III’s decision on Friday not to accept it as calls escalated for Abad’s head in the face of the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

It was the first time that the President had commented on the Supreme Court decision, though his various spokespersons had been defending him, saying Mr. Aquino had done nothing wrong and everything was done “in good faith.”

“It is clear that Abad’s resignation, which was not irrevocable and lacked sincerity and Mr. Aquino’s refusal to accept it was out of self-interest,” said Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, the secretary general of the nominally oppositionist United Nationalist Alliance.

“I believe it’s a matter of I’ll-cover-your-back-you-cover-mine kind of arrangement. Malacañang has already absolved Abad from any wrongdoing, and by protecting Abad, the Palace is also protecting the interest of the President,” said Tiangco, who is closely allied with Vice President Jejomar Binay.

“It was a case of (having) a bad script and bad acting. Maybe they should hire Nora Aunor to learn how to act better,” he said.

Party-list lawmakers in the House of Representatives said the President was “openly defying the law” by not accepting Abad’s resignation on the grounds that he could not accept that Abad’s acts with regard to the DAP were wrong.

This act of Mr. Aquino would only further their resolve to impeach him for betrayal of public trust, they said.

Binay not applauding

* Binay attended the Cabinet meeting where Mr. Aquino announced his rejection of Abad’s resignation, which the budget chief offered late Thursday.

As his Cabinet colleagues applauded, a glum-looking Abad was seen on TV rubbing his palms together.

Binay, who called for accountability over the DAP, was captured on camera not joining in the applause.

He left the meeting, which was still going on as of 5 p.m. Friday, before noon, other officials said.

Binay later released a statement commenting on Mr. Aquino’s decision: “The President has made a decision and I respect his decision. The decision to accept or reject the resignation is the prerogative of the President.”

Stimulus plan

The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a circular issued by Abad allowing the “pooling” of savings from the executive department for distribution to agencies and projects not provided for by the national budget approved by Congress.

The pool became the DAP, a stimulus plan introduced in 2011 to accelerate economic growth through faster government spending.

According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), P136.75 billion was made available from the 2011 and 2012 national budgets to fund high-impact projects under the DAP. Only P114.57 billion was used, the DBM said.

The President’s spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda, asserted that 91 percent of the DAP funds was spent properly, but said the Palace could not vouch for the 9 percent that went to projects recommended by legislators.

Impassioned prayer

The President’s announcement followed an impassioned opening prayer by Teresita Deles, the presidential adviser on the peace process, pleading for “abiding grace, amazing grace” as the Cabinet gathered at a “time more challenging than most.”

“We individually, and as a Cabinet, under the leadership of President Aquino, have embraced public service as our calling. But the season of disquiet and turmoil has so sorely tested our souls. Legal cases have been filed against our fellow Cabinet members ascribing bad faith and more, where there is none,” she said.

Impeachment is right

The President’s refusal to accept Abad’s resignation convinced some party-list lawmakers that pursuing Mr. Aquino’s impeachment was “the right thing to do,” Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said.

“Whatever Malacañang says, billions of pesos have been lost through the DAP and they should be held accountable for it,” he said.

Mr. Aquino’s rejection of Abad’s resignation was his way of protecting himself, Colmenares said.

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said the President was “openly defying the law” by refusing to accept that Abad had done wrong.

“In loudly and publicly rejecting the [Supreme Court] ruling on the DAP, he is breaking his oath of office. This is a betrayal of public trust that provides yet another ground for his impeachment,” Tinio said.

“To all those Filipinos who believe with the Supreme Court that the President did, in fact, do wrong, Aquino has effectively thrown down the gauntlet. The President’s message is loud and clear: ‘I did no wrong, impeach me, if you dare,’” he said.

Unrepentant

Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon said the President’s rejection of Abad’s resignation clearly showed that he was unrepentant about the DAP despite the Supreme Court decision and the public clamor.

“[This] gives us further resolve to impeach the President for betrayal of public trust, including cronyism and favoritism,” Ridon said.

Leaders of the ruling coalition in the House have declared that any impeachment bid against Mr. Aquino related to the DAP would be quashed. At least two impeachment complaints have been filed against the President, but no lawmaker has endorsed either of them.

Disrespecting high court

Tiangco said that by absolving Abad, Malacañang had shown “utter disrespect” for the Supreme Court.

“The President is duty-bound to uphold and defend the Constitution. By rejecting Abad’s resignation and by harboring a constitutional offender, the President’s act is a direct insult to the Supreme Court,” Tiangco said.

Tiangco said, however, that the position of UNA was unchanged with regard to moves to impeach the President over the DAP.

He earlier said that UNA would not endorse any impeachment bid against Mr. Aquino “out of delicadeza” as there was conflict of interest due to the fact that Binay stood to benefit, should impeachment prosper.

But the President’s allies in the Senate supported his rejection of Abad’s resignation.

“I am not surprised. I know the President. His trust and confidence in the members of his Cabinet is not based on what may be convenient,” Senate President Franklin Drilon said.

In rejecting Abad’s offer to resign, the President sent a strong message that he would always “stand by what is right.”

“Amid all the political noise and early posturing for 2016, a weak President would’ve taken the easy way out. But that is not P-Noy’s style of governance,” he said.

Drilon said Abad had been the “target of a vicious propaganda campaign.”

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV agreed with Mr. Aquino’s rejection of Abad’s offer to resign.

“From a leadership perspective, it’s the right thing to do. You don’t punish a subordinate for an action that you believe is right and you have adopted yourself,” he said in a text message.

Abad summoned to Senate

But he agreed with other senators that Abad should account for the DAP funds.

Sen. Francis Escudero, the chair of the Senate finance committee, has summoned Abad to a hearing on the DAP set for July 21.

Escudero directed Abad to submit a complete list of the special allotment release orders, or Saros, that were disbursed under the DAP, including the amount of releases and projects.

A Saro is issued by the DBM to confirm that a budget request for a certain project has been approved.

“You have been asking us which among our programs and projects were funded by the DAP. This is what we have been asking the DBM, too, since our last committee hearing: Where is the list?” Escudero said in a statement.

Escudero received an allocation of P99 million for his pet projects from the DAP, next only to Drilon’s P100 million.

Escudero said Abad should clarify reports that some P372 billion was disbursed under the DAP, which did not tally with the DBM figure of P200 billion.

Abad should identify fund releases under the DAP that were voided by the Supreme Court, he said.

“If we want to scrutinize the DAP releases under the guidance of the [Supreme Court] decision, we need all the papers that only DBM can provide,” he said.

He noted that the President would be submitting the proposed 2015 national budget to Congress late this month.

“We are carefully studying the court decision to ensure that the next budget we will be crafting and approving will be compliant with the Supreme Court decision on the DAP,” he said.

‘Ceremonial’ resignation

Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito agreed, saying that instead of political maneuvering, Abad should release the “full list of DAP recipients and its sources.”

Ejercito received a DAP allocation of P10 million when he was still a San Juan congressman.

Ejercito also mocked Abad’s resignation as merely “ceremonial” because it was not irrevocable.

“He merely wanted to be stopped,” he said.

Sen. Nancy Binay said the President’s rejection of Abad’s resignation was “not only unfortunate but was [also] a bad one.”

Activist priest Fr. Robert Reyes said Abad should do himself a favor and make his resignation irrevocable.

“Resign irrevocably. Let go and let God,” Reyes said in an open letter to Abad.

He urged Abad to follow St. Ignatius’ way of detaching oneself from “whatever weakens our conscience and impairs our freedom.”

He said many Filipinos cannot understand how the DAP and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) fit in with the President’s “righteous path” policy.

“If cleansing is to be done, then it must be total and thorough. If PDAF goes, then DAP should go as well,” he said in the letter e-mailed to the Inquirer.

Reyes said Abad should not be afraid of being jailed if he’s innocent.

“If you are innocent, if you are clean, there is nothing to fear,” he said.

“Go to jail if you must and let the truth and nothing less set you free. I pray for you and all of my friends in government,” he added.

Come clean on DAP, Escudero tells Abad By TJ Burgonio |Philippine Daily Inquirer
5:15 am | Tuesday, July 8th, 2014


Francis “Chiz” Escudero: Abad’s job to disclose details. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero now wants Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to come clean on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) junked by the Supreme Court last week.

Escudero on Monday said it was Abad’s job to disclose details of appropriations and projects under the stimulus program at the hearing by the finance committee, possibly this month.

So far, Escudero said the figures submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the DAP, a mechanism introduced in 2011 to pump-prime the economy, did not tally with those in news reports.

Besides, Escudero admitted that senators were clueless whether DBM’s allocations for their pet projects in 2011 and 2012 came from the DAP, or from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the congressional pork barrel.

“That’s the problem. We don’t know,” he told reporters when asked if he could account for his projects funded with the DAP.

Escudero stopped short of calling for Abad’s resignation, saying this was a personal decision.

* The high court last Tuesday struck down the presidential budgetary prerogative, including a circular allowing the release of savings from the executive department to agencies and projects outside the national budget approved by Congress.

According to the DBM, some P136.75 billion had been made available in the 2011 and 2012 national budgets to fund high-impact projects under the DAP. Only P114.57 billion was used.

Escudero said he would ask Abad to submit a list of projects funded with the DAP, and the corresponding appropriations ahead of the resumption of hearing on the DAP by the finance committee, which he chairs.

He said Abad should specify which amounts were releases from the DAP or from the PDAF.

“For now, it’s only right that the explanation about the DAP come from him, specifically what happened under the DAP, the details, and moving on, how to avoid this and ensure this won’t happen again,” he said.

Other senators also disclaimed knowledge of the DAP.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who according to the DBM received a P50-million allocation from the DAP, clarified that the P50 million was part of his PDAF.

“Just to clarify, this P50 million is not in the form of cash, but rather fund allocations for projects identified by legislators,” he added in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano last Friday confirmed endorsing projects before and after the impeachment trial and conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona, but claimed he was not aware these were funded with the DAP.

Otherwise, the practice of augmenting department’s budgets with savings had been in place in the bureaucracy for the last 20 years, he said.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said he was merely asked to identify projects to be financed with P45.5 million in DAP funds. He said the implementing agencies could have rejected this.

Twenty senators received DAP allocations, according to the DBM.

Aquino to address nation about DAP Monday By TJ Burgonio |Philippine Daily Inquirer 6:56 pm | Saturday, July 12th, 2014


President Benigno Aquino III.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III will speak about his government’s controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program in a national broadcast on Monday ahead of his State of the Nation Address, Malacañang said Saturday.

The President will address the nation from Malacañang around 6 p.m. Monday, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said in an advisory.

“Broadcast networks have been requested to air the President’s speech on current national issues,” Coloma said. He confirmed the main issue would be DAP, which has been struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, but did not elaborate.

Last Friday, the President announced he had rejected Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad’s resignation over the DAP issue.

On Saturday, Abad said the President, by rejecting his resignation, agreed there was nothing irregular about the DAP.

“I was elated that in rejecting my resignation, he made it once again very clear his firm conviction that there is nothing wrong with DAP. In fact, as he quoted the SC, it did the country good,” Abad said in a text message.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, the President has been deluged with calls to address DAP issue when he delivers his annual State of the Nation Address on July 28.

Meanwhile, Palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said Saturday that persistent calls for Abad to resign were now irrelevant after Aquino announcement on Friday that he had rejected the budget secretary’s offer to quit.

“The President has made a decision. We would be just kicking the can around if we still discuss why the resignation wasn’t revocable or irrevocable,” Valte said over government-run radio dzRB.

Whether one agreed with the President or not, the “fact remains that the President has made his decision,” she added. “So perhaps, let it stop there. On the matter of Secretary Butch Abad staying or leaving, the President has made his decision.”

* The President’s rejection of Abad’s resignation was a vote of confidence in the secretary, Valte said, despite the debacle in the high court over the DAP.

Critics, including the United Nationalist Alliance, called the President’s rejection of Abad’s resignation, which was not irrevocable, a “case of a bad script and bad acting.”

Partylist lawmakers in the House of Representatives said the President’s act of “defying the law” would only embolden them to impeach him for betrayal of public trust.

Several others, including activist priest Father Robert Reyes, called on Abad to do himself and Filipinos a big favor by resigning irrevocably.

At the Cabinet presentation of the proposed 2015 budget Friday morning, the President announced Abad had tendered his resignation the previous day but he rejected it.

“To accept his resignation is to assign to him a wrong and I cannot accept the notion that doing right by our people is a wrong,” Mr. Aquino said.

Voting 13-0, Supreme Court justices struck down the DAP, a mechanism whereby pooled savings from the executive department were allotted to high-impact projects to pump-prime the economy beginning 2011 even though these projects were not covered by specific provisions in the General Appropriations Act passed by Congress.

The justices specifically voided a circular allowing the release of savings from the Executive Department to agencies and projects outside the national budget.

Some P136.75 billion in “savings” were pooled under the DAP from the 2011 and 2012 national budgets, but only P114.57 billion was used, Budget officials said.

Valte bristled at UNA’s comments that the President’s rejection of Abad’s resignation was an act of self-redemption.

“Let’s not add reasons other than what has been clearly enunciated by the President,” she said. “The President’s statement was very clear, that was very precise. So let’s not add other reasons where there is none.”

Reacting to the Senate finance committee’s invitation to Abad to explain DAP at its July 21 hearing, Valte said the Executive Department has always been ready to explain the details of the program.

“What I know is that currently the DBM is trying to collate all the documents and the data related to the 116 projects,” she said. “We will come out with this at the appropriate time.”

The question of why Vice President Jejomar Binay did not clap his hands as most of the Cabinet officials did after the President’s announcement should be addressed to him, Valte said.

“Some did observe that, but the Vice President has released a statement. I don’t know why he didn’t clap yesterday,” she said.

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

PNoy, Abad not necessarily liable for DAP – former Chief Justice Panganiban July 12, 2014 8:42pm 30 28 1 61 Tags: Bantay Kaban


Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban (READ FLASHBACK AFTER THIS ARTICLE]

President Benigno Aquino III and Budget Secretary Butch Abad are not necessarily liable for the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said in an interview with GMA News.

Panganiban, in an interview on GMA's "24 Oras" aired Saturday evening, said the Supreme Court (SC) only declared four acts and practices of the DAP unconstitutional, and not the program in its entirety.

Specifically, the Supreme Court ruled that the following aspects of DAP were 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 Appropriations Act; the cross-border transfers of the savings of the executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the executive; and the funding of projects, activities and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA.

“How can it be unconstitutional?

It's a power granted by the Constitution to the heads of the various branches of government. But acts done under it may be unconstitutional,” Panganiban said in the report.

Panganiban also explained that the SC ruling on petitions against DAP read "partially granted" because only parts of the program were unconstitutional.

He said the president's power to augment the budget of certain offices in the executive branch remains.

“Hindi naman alam ng mga taong 'yun nung time na 'yun na unconstitutional pala 'yung batas or 'yung action... Pero tama na, hindi na puwede [ang DAP] in the future. Sa kinabukaasan pag ginawa pa uli 'yun, 'yung savings na hindi dapat gawing savings ginawa po ulit lahat sila liable na,” Panganiban said.

Last Thursday, Abad tendered his resignation as Budget secretary following the SC's ruling on DAP. However, President Benigno Aquino III rejected Abad's resignation.

“Although I was wholly prepared to relinquish my post, I am grateful for the president’s expression of his continuing trust and confidence in my leadership of the department. I have thus chosen to defer to his better judgment and stay,” Abad said in a statement.

A plunder complaint has already been filed against Abad at the Office of the Ombudsman over the DAP. — Andrei Medina/JDS, GMA News

FLASHBACK editorial FROM PHILNEWS.COM

What will PNoy do? Publishes 01/05/2014 PHILNEWS.COM

A New Year’s Wish: Respect Towards One Another


Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban might soon find himself under arrest, arraigned and prosecuted because of a libel charge filedFormer Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban might soon have to face libel charges for an article he wrote about the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) against him by Ferdinand Marcos crony Herminio Disini.

The “libelous act” that Panganiban is accused of is writing an article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2011 that Disini alleges is an “irresponsible and malicious” attack with regards to his involvement in the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) during the martial law years.

You can read Panganiban’s article titled: “After 35 years, still languishing” here and decide for yourself if it is indeed “libelous” or if Philippine laws are once again being used by people with money and power to muzzle the press.

But let us step back and try to see things from a broader perspective. This article is after all, not just about a Marcos crony and a former chief justice.

During the 1986 EDSA revolution when millions of Filipinos put their lives on the line and literally faced down the tanks of General Fabian Ver, Cory Aquino became president while Marcos and his ilk were sent packing.

The dreams and aspirations of the long-oppressed Filipino masses took flight with the ascendancy of the country’s first female president. Mrs. Aquino had as well the blessing and admiration of the entire world. She could have ushered in a new era of unprecedented growth and prosperity for the Philippines.

* In retrospect however, it now appears that Cory Aquino achieved next to nothing. Not only was she faulted for not even trying, according to her many detractors at the time, she just didn’t seem to know anything.

The acronym bandied about back then to describe Mrs. Aquino in office was TWA—not the airline, it stood for talagang walang alam (knows absolutely nothing).

Had Mrs. Aquino despite her limitations taken seriously the mandate the Filipino people thrust upon her, she would have moved heaven and earth to bring to justice all those who in one way or another were involved with either the Marcoses or their unjust military regime. Instead, Mrs. Aquino chose to kick the can down the road for another generation to deal with.


Herminio Disini (inset) and the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, a $2.3 Billion debacle paid for by Filipino taxpayers

Little did she know then that the person who might have to clean up the mess she refused to touch would be her son, current President Noynoy Aquino (Pnoy).

And in the nearly two decades that the Marcoses and their cronies have been left untouched, many of those once cowering figures now stand tall, emboldened once again to not just put forward their own distorted version of history but to muzzle those who dare expose their sordid past.

Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban’s stellar achievements despite his humble beginnings stand as a testament to his indomitable spirit.

There is likely still a lot of fight left in him. The question however is: what will the president do about all this?

Will Pnoy finish what his mother unfortunately never really started?

Or will he likewise kick the can even further down the road so that in some distant misinformed future Ferdinand Marcos might even be seen as a hero and his martial law regime as the best thing that ever happened to the Philippines. Published 01/05/2014


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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