SERGE: NOY SHOULD DO A 'GLORIA', SAY I'M SORRY'

President Benigno Aquino III should apologize in his televised address to the nation tonight for the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), Senator Serge Osmeña said Monday. Osmeña said Aquino should imitate his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who apologized in a televised address in 2005 for her "lapse in judgement" in the so-called "Hello, Garci" scandal. "Dapat gayahin niya si Gloria and say, I am sorry," Osmeña said after the regular Kapihan Senate media forum on Monday. Arroyo uttered those words after being accused of conversing with former Commission on Elections Virgilio Garcillano to supposedly order the rigging of the 2004 presidential elections in her favor. Aquino, on the other hand, is now facing criticisms over the DAP, which has been declared partially unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The President is expected to tackle the DAP issue in his televised address scheduled at 6 p.m. Osmeña said he is disappointed that the President is addressing the DAP issue only now. * READ MORE...

ALSO By R. D. Tiglao: The ‘Cory’s ghost’ argument for DAP 

Arguments to justify President Aquino’s hijacking of taxpayers’ money through his unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) have become stupider and sillier. Those espousing these recent arguments are caught up in their own crackpot’s world in which they seem to believe that former president Cory Aquino’s ghost had gifted them with such esoteric legal insight that would prevent her son from going to jail. It is the height of megalomania, though, for them to believe they can outthink the 14 Supreme Court justices and a phalanx of lawyers involved in the case.
The dingbats’ argument is that Section 49* of the Administrative Code issued by Cory in 1987 as Executive Order No. 292 gives her son the power to use the budget as he wants, or at least for certain purposes listed in that section. That would be practically anything under the sun, as the ninth purpose listed is for “priority activities that will promote the economic well-being of the nation.” Aquino apologist Elfren Cruz, Cory’s Presidential Management Staff head from 1986 to 1991, made this argument in the Philippine Star recently: “The President, under Section 49 of the Administrative Code, has the authority to use savings in the appropriations for 13 specific purposes.” Together with Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda and other yellow loonies, they are claiming that under Section 49 therefore, Aquino’s DAP complies with the laws. In their delirium, their eyes read “funds” instead of “savings.” Section 49, indeed, gives a president much flexibility in spending state funds, but not just any government fund, but only savings that are generated after assiduously implementing each year’s budget laws. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Aquino tells SC: 'Huwag n'yo kaming hadlangan' ('Do not bar us') 

President Benigno Aquino III urged the Supreme Court on Monday to reconsider its ruling declaring key parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional. In his highly anticipated television address, Aquino said his administration will formally appeal the high court's decision. Aquino told the Supreme Court that it is difficult to understand its ruling. "Balikan ninyo ang desisyon na may pagsaalang-alang sa paliwanag ko. Tulungan ninyo kaming tulungan ang taumbayan," Aquino told the Supreme Court. "Huwag n'yo sana kaming hadlangan," he added. The President also maintained that the DAP had a positive impact and that it had legal basis. "Mabuti ang DAP. Tama ang intensyon. Tama ang pamamaraan. Tama ang resulta," Aquino said. The DAP is a stimulus package introduced by the Aquino administration in 2011 designed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth. It reallocates savings generated by the government to fund other programs and projects. The fund scheme first earned criticisms last year after Senator Jinggoy Estrada, one of those indicted in the pork barrel scam, revealed that they were given extra allocation after the conviction of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino suffers biggest rating drop in Pulse Asia, SWS polls 

President Benigno Aquino III suffered the largest decline in his ratings which are now on their lowest levels, according to the latest surveys of both Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS). Pulse Asia said while Aquino continues to enjoy the approval and trust of majority of Filipinos, he received a significant drop in his national ratings from March to June 2014. According to the survey results released on Monday, Aquino's performance rating decreased from 70 percent to 56 percent while his trust rating fell from 69 percent to 53 percent. Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Maria Tabunda noted that these are Aquino's lowest marks in his four years in office. "It would be his largest decline in both approval and trust (ratings) and it's also his lowest performance and trust ratings thus far," Tabunda told ANC in a phone-patch interview. Amid the various controversies hounding his administration, the President experienced significant drop in his approval ratings in the rest of Luzon (-14 percentage points), Mindanao (-19 percentage points) and Classes D and E (-15 and -12 percentage points, respectively). As for presidential trust scores, they decreased markedly in Mindanao (-15 percentage points), Metro Manila (-17 percentage points), the rest of Luzon (-19 percentage points) and all socio-economic groupings (-14 to -20 percentage points). * READ MORE...

ALSO: WILL PNOY TELL ALL TODAY?; NATIONWIDE TV TALK ON DAP SET; ESCUDERO SEES ‘SORRY, BOSS’ SCRIPT

PRESIDENT Aquino wants to explain to his “bosses” the reasons behind recent actions taken by his administration, from the implementation of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to his rejection of the resignation offer of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said yesterday. Malacañang on Saturday announced that the President will address the public at 6 p.m. today, and requested all broadcast networks to air the speech which will be delivered from Malacañang. Coloma last Saturday said the President would explain “current national issues that touch upon the principles of good governance.” Coloma urged the people to refrain from speculating and just wait for the President’s speech. He belied talks the administration is “panicking” and said the President just wants the chance to talk with his “bosses.”

The administration has been under heavy fire since July 1 when the Supreme Court issued a decision declaring parts of the DAP as unconstitutional. The decision triggered impeachment moves against Aquino and calls for Abad’s resignation or ouster. Aquino, speaking Friday morning at the start of the Cabinet budget presentation in Malacañang, said Abad offered to resign the day before but he decided not to accept the resignation. “To accept his resignation is to assign to him a wrong. And I can’t accept the notion that doing right by our people is a wrong,” he said. The development invited more criticisms, like one that said the resignation was a bad script because it was not irrevocable. A separate opinion on the SC decision called the DAP Abad’s “brainchild” but presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda has been saying Abad is not the DAP’s architect.

The DAP was introduced and implemented in 2011 to boost the economy, with fund allocations for slow-moving projects moved to fast-moving ones. Coloma belied talks that Aquino rejected Abad’s resignation offer because the budget secretary knows a lot of Aquino’s secrets. Sen. Francis Escudero said President Aquino is likely to issue a public apology when he addresses the nation today but hastened to add that it should be Abad who should address the public. He said that after four years in Malacañang, the public should already know that it is the character of the President to shoulder all the problems, even if it is the responsibility of his Cabinet men. “Hindi ko alam kung ano sasabihin niya pero malamang may kasamang paghingi ng tawad, kailangan man niya iyon o hindi. Pero sa pananaw ko, mas kailangan na masabi ng Pangulo na ito’y napunta sa tama, maayos at magagandang proyekto,” Escudero said in an interview over dzBB radio. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Signal No. 2 raised in five provinces, Signal No. 1 in Metro Manila due to ‘Glenda’ 

Tropical Storm “Glenda” (international name: Rammasun) has intensified, leading to the raising of public storm warning signal no. 2 in five provinces. In its weather advisory before noon Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, and Sorsogon are under signal no. 2.Areas under signal no.1 are Masbate, Burias and Ticao Islands, Marinduque, Quezon, Polillo Islands, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Southern Aurora, Northern Samar, and Metro Manila. Pagasa estimates that ‘Glenda’ is located at 620 kilometers East of Virac, Catanduanes packing maximum winds of 95 kilometers per hour and gusts of 120 kph.
Pagasa warns residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under signals no.1 and 2 to be alert against possible flashfloods and landslides while those living in coastal areas under signal no. 2 are warned against storm surges.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.


Read Full Stories here:

Serge: Noy should do a 'Gloria,' say 'I am sorry'


File photo of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

MANILA
, JULY 15, 2014 (PHILSTAR)
 President Benigno Aquino III should apologize in his televised address to the nation tonight for the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), Senator Serge Osmeña said Monday.

Osmeña said Aquino should imitate his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who apologized in a televised address in 2005 for her "lapse in judgement" in the so-called "Hello, Garci" scandal.

"Dapat gayahin niya si Gloria and say, I am sorry," Osmeña said after the regular Kapihan Senate media forum on Monday.

Arroyo uttered those words after being accused of conversing with former Commission on Elections Virgilio Garcillano to supposedly order the rigging of the 2004 presidential elections in her favor.

Aquino, on the other hand, is now facing criticisms over the DAP, which has been declared partially unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The President is expected to tackle the DAP issue in his televised address scheduled at 6 p.m.

Osmeña said he is disappointed that the President is addressing the DAP issue only now.

* "I have said that if I were the political handler of the President, the first thing I would do is deliver a speech before the SONA (State of the Nation Address)," the senator said.

"Call it 'Ulat sa Bayan' and explain the DAP, para hindi na mag-get in the way of the SONA," he added.

The senator said someone like Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, the brains behind the DAP, should take the blame for the controversy arising from the unconstitutional fund scheme.

"I think that we have to judge the people's pulse, and they're looking for somebody to blame. And normally, a loyal knight would fall on his sword for the king, hindi ba?" Osmeña said.

He believes, however, that Aquino will survive the DAP fiasco and end his term in 2016, though the issue will affect his integrity.

"This is nothing, but this puts into serious question his credibility with the public," the senator said. -Louis Bacani

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

The ‘Cory’s ghost’ argument for DAP July 13, 2014 10:26 pm RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO


by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

Arguments to justify President Aquino’s hijacking of taxpayers’ money through his unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) have become stupider and sillier.

Those espousing these recent arguments are caught up in their own crackpot’s world in which they seem to believe that former president Cory Aquino’s ghost had gifted them with such esoteric legal insight that would prevent her son from going to jail. It is the height of megalomania, though, for them to believe they can outthink the 14 Supreme Court justices and a phalanx of lawyers involved in the case.

The dingbats’ argument is that Section 49* of the Administrative Code issued by Cory in 1987 as Executive Order No. 292 gives her son the power to use the budget as he wants, or at least for certain purposes listed in that section. That would be practically anything under the sun, as the ninth purpose listed is for “priority activities that will promote the economic well-being of the nation.”

Aquino apologist Elfren Cruz, Cory’s Presidential Management Staff head from 1986 to 1991, made this argument in the Philippine Star recently: “The President, under Section 49 of the Administrative Code, has the authority to use savings in the appropriations for 13 specific purposes.”

Together with Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda and other yellow loonies, they are claiming that under Section 49 therefore, Aquino’s DAP complies with the laws.

In their delirium, their eyes read “funds” instead of “savings.”

Section 49, indeed, gives a president much flexibility in spending state funds, but not just any government fund, but only savings that are generated after assiduously implementing each year’s budget laws.

The Supreme Court pointed out in much detail that there were no such savings to speak of that Aquino could have used.

This isn’t really unusual. What government agency wouldn’t use up all its funds, which it always complains are so little?

The last time I’d bet there were really government savings from the annual budget was during the Commonwealth period.

Aquino didn’t use savings to put into his DAP kitty, the High Court concluded. He, instead, hijacked allocations ordered by the budget laws of 2011 to 2013.

Downright illegal

That is not just unconstitutional but downright illegal, involving very serious cases of malversation of funds or falsification of public documents. That could be 117 criminal cases, or the number of projects Aquino and Abad claimed were funded by their DAP. (Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code imposes a penalty of reclusion perpetua if the amount involved is over P250,000 plus the return of the funds illegally appropriated. Multiply those penalties by 117, and that’s what Aquino’s and Abad’s jail time would be if they were found guilty.)

Cruz, in the sentence I quoted above, shows he didn’t even read the Supreme Court decision and its five concurring opinions. “The President … has the authority to use savings….” But Cruz doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the word – it is vastly different from just “government funds.”

Probably half of the 44,000-word Supreme Court decision penned by Justice Lucas Bersamin and the five separate opinions actually dealt with the issue of whether there were savings or not, which Abad claimed were put into the DAP pool.

They all concluded: There were actually no savings that Aquino could use to set up his P144 billion DAP. Abad pretended – or lied – that there were.

The Administrative Code itself and the annual budget laws were very strict in defining what “savings” are in order to guard against unscrupulous budget secretaries and presidents who would abuse that provision to throw to the dustbin the annual budget laws.

The definition of “savings” in these laws hews to only one of the ordinary usages of the term, as the “left-over” money: Savings are those funds authorized by the budget laws but which are unused after such projects and programs are implemented.

Funds for a program authorized by the budget law that are aborted or delayed beyond the fiscal year are not savings. They are either used within the next two years or reverted back to the national treasury.

Bad faith by Abad and Aquino was evident in the fact that they declared as savings the funds which did not qualify as savings as defined by law, just so they could play around with the people’s money.

Abad, for instance, decreed that funds unused by end-June of 2011 and 2012 were savings, contrary to even common sense that budgets are programmed to be used in 12 months, not six months.

He declared as savings certain funds allocated by the budget laws which weren’t yet used and obligated, never mind if the government entity didn’t yet need to actually release the money, but had programs for their use.

No analysis, no criteria

Abad decreed that certain projects were “slow moving,” without any actual analysis of the projects or even criteria to determine which of these were slow moving and which were fast.

“Unprogrammed Funds” were declared as savings, even if these were funds to be used for certain projects, especially priority infrastructure determined in the budget laws, only when total government revenues exceeded targets – which these never did.

Department secretaries in the next administration will most probably expose how Abad and Aquino aborted crucial programs approved by Congress – for health, education, and infrastructure – so that the “savings” generated were put into DAP kitty to bribe the Congress to remove Corona, or to build up support among local politicians for the 2016 elections.

It is hilarious how Lacierda and other yellow apologists are trying to evoke an air of mysterious revelation over Section 49.

Lacierda says Cory issued the administrative code just two days before Congress convened, and therefore, was a law.

Wow, Tita Cory reaches out through space and time to prevent his son from going to jail. Or maybe her spirit traveled to the future and saw that her son would be jailed after his term, so she went back to her present to issue the Code that would save her son?

The Supreme Court ruling that DAP was unconstitutional was based on three pillars, most important being its conclusion there were no “savings” that Aquino could use for his DAP.

The other two pillars were that Abad transferred funds of the Executive Branch to the other two branches of government, and that funds were used for projects not authorized by the budget laws. But these two points border on being superfluous since there were no funds – no savings – that could be transferred or used.

That crackpot ideas challenging the Supreme Court would be even disseminated in media highlights our nation’s lack of respect for institutions.

We have a Constitution that must be respected by all. We also have a Supreme Court, which as the Constitution specifies, is the final interpreter of that basic law of the land.

But no, in this yellow cult, any mad-hatter can insist on his or her own interpretation of the law, and Palace media operators would disseminate such views.

Disrespect for institutions

President Aquino is leading the way for this disrespect of our country’s cherished institutions. He bribes Congress to assault the Supreme Court by taking out its chief justice, even mobilizing the (previously independent) Commission on Audit and the Ombudsman for such a vile project.

Now, he has unleashed his lapdogs in media to denigrate the Supreme Court’s adverse decision on his DAP, which even his appointees Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, as well as justices Bienvenido Reyes and Marivic Leonen had agreed with.

He is the first Philippine President in memory who has refused to publicly accept the decision of the Supreme Court.

A respectable, principled president would have declared: “We bow to the decision of the Supreme Court, and more than any other person in this land, I have the sacred duty to defend the Constitution, which the Court is the only entity that interprets what it means.”

Instead, what he practically has been saying is: “Screw the Court, especially you ingrates Sereno, Reyes, and Leonen. I won’t give up Abad. And just try impeaching me.”

(*The provision reads: “Savings in the appropriations provided in the General Appropriations Act may be used for the settlement of the following obligations incurred during a current fiscal year or previous fiscal years as may be approved by the Secretary in accordance with rules and procedures as may be approved by the President.)

TO READ 37 READER'S RESPONSES TO THIS COLUMN CLICK:

http://www.manilatimes.net/the-corys-ghost-argument-for-dap/111305/
 

FROM PHILSTAR

Aquino tells SC: 'Huwag n'yo kaming hadlangan'(Do not bar us)By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated July 14, 2014 - 6:39pm 4 1 googleplus0 0


"Mabuti ang DAP. Tama ang intensyon. Tama ang pamamaraan. Tama ang resulta," Aquino said

MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III urged the Supreme Court on Monday to reconsider its ruling declaring key parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional.

In his highly anticipated television address, Aquino said his administration will formally appeal the high court's decision.

Aquino told the Supreme Court that it is difficult to understand its ruling.

"Balikan ninyo ang desisyon na may pagsaalang-alang sa paliwanag ko. Tulungan ninyo kaming tulungan ang taumbayan," Aquino told the Supreme Court.

"Huwag n'yo sana kaming hadlangan," he added.

The President also maintained that the DAP had a positive impact and that it had legal basis.

"Mabuti ang DAP. Tama ang intensyon. Tama ang pamamaraan. Tama ang resulta," Aquino said.

The DAP is a stimulus package introduced by the Aquino administration in 2011 designed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth. It reallocates savings generated by the government to fund other programs and projects.

The fund scheme first earned criticisms last year after Senator Jinggoy Estrada, one of those indicted in the pork barrel scam, revealed that they were given extra allocation after the conviction of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

* Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, considered as the architect of the DAP, disclosed later that the funds assigned to the lawmakers were from the DAP.

Critics have claimed that DAP funds were used as bribes for lawmakers to vote for Corona's impeachment and conviction.

The allegations against the DAP also prompted President Aquino to deliver a televised address last year and defend the legality of the controversial stimulus program.

Aquino also denied stealing from public coffers through the DAP.

"The DAP is not theft. Theft is illegal. Spending through DAP is clearly allowed by the Constitution and by other laws. DAP is only a name for a process in which government can spend both savings and new and additional revenues," Aquino said in his 2013 speech.

Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court issued a decision declaring several acts under the DAP as unconstitutional for violating the doctrine of separation of powers and the constitutional provision which prohibits the inter-branch transfer of appropriations.

In its 92-page decision, the high court said "authors, proponents and implementors" of the DAP can have criminal, civil, administrative and other liabilities "unless there are concrete findings of good faith in their favor by the proper tribunals."

The Aquino administration insisted that the DAP was done in good faith and that it benefited the public. But some camps are pushing for the President's impeachment and are calling for Abad's resignation.

Last Friday, Aquino announced that he turned down Abad's resignation offer.

Aquino suffers biggest rating drop in Pulse Asia, SWS polls By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated July 14, 2014 - 11:49am 23 346 googleplus0 0


President Benigno Aquino III delivering a speech last week. Robert Viñas/Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) — President Benigno Aquino III suffered the largest decline in his ratings which are now on their lowest levels, according to the latest surveys of both Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Pulse Asia said while Aquino continues to enjoy the approval and trust of majority of Filipinos, he received a significant drop in his national ratings from March to June 2014.

According to the survey results released on Monday, Aquino's performance rating decreased from 70 percent to 56 percent while his trust rating fell from 69 percent to 53 percent.

Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Maria Tabunda noted that these are Aquino's lowest marks in his four years in office.

"It would be his largest decline in both approval and trust (ratings) and it's also his lowest performance and trust ratings thus far," Tabunda told ANC in a phone-patch interview.

Amid the various controversies hounding his administration, the President experienced significant drop in his approval ratings in the rest of Luzon (-14 percentage points), Mindanao (-19 percentage points) and Classes D and E (-15 and -12 percentage points, respectively).

As for presidential trust scores, they decreased markedly in Mindanao (-15 percentage points), Metro Manila (-17 percentage points), the rest of Luzon (-19 percentage points) and all socio-economic groupings (-14 to -20 percentage points).

* Pulse Asia also noted that less than half of the people in Metro Manila have positive views on Aquino's performance and trustworthiness (46 percent and 40 percent, respectively).

Non-majority approval and trust ratings were also recorded in Class ABC (48 percent and 42 percent, respectively).

The Pulse Asia survey was conducted from June 24 to July 2, 2014. The polling firm said various issues preoccupied Filipinos immediately before and during the conduct of the field interviews for this survey.

These issues include the filing of plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla in connection with the pork barrel scam and the eventual surrender and detention of Estrada and Revilla.

Also among the issues is the decision issued by the Supreme Court (SC) declaring several acts under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional.

But Pulse Asia's Tabunda said the pork barrel scam "might have a heavier weight" than the DAP issue since the high court ruling was only released on July 2, the last day when the survey interviews were conducted.

SWS: Satisfaction with PNoy down by 20 points

Meanwhile, the results of the latest SWS survey also showed that Aquino's net satisfaction rating dropped to its lowest point last June.

Based on the survey results also published on Monday, Aquino's net satisfaction rating fell to a "moderate" +25, down from the "good" +45 in March.

Like in the Pulse Asia poll, this is Aquino's largest rating decline in an SWS survey. It is also his lowest score since his took office in 2010 and the first time that his ranking fell to the "moderate."

According to the SWS survey, 66 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied with Aquino's performance while 30 percent said otherwise.

Aquino's net satisfaction rating decreased across all regions and among economic classes. The biggest drop was recorded in Metro Manila (from +33 to +6) and in Class D and E (from +45 and +44, respectively, to +22 and +31).

Despite the decrease in the President's ratings, 50 percent of the respondents believe that it is still "too early to tell" whether Aquino is a successful or an unsuccessful chief executive.

The number of those who think that Aquino will be successful, however, decreased from 40 percent to 29 percent while those who believe that he will be unsuccessful rose from 13 percent to 21 percent.

FROM MALAYA

WILL PNOY TELL ALL TODAY?; NATIONWIDE TV TALK ON DAP SET; ESCUDERO SEES ‘SORRY, BOSS’ SCRIPT By JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR | July 14, 2014

PRESIDENT Aquino wants to explain to his “bosses” the reasons behind recent actions taken by his administration, from the implementation of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to his rejection of the resignation offer of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said yesterday.

Malacañang on Saturday announced that the President will address the public at 6 p.m. today, and requested all broadcast networks to air the speech which will be delivered from Malacañang.

Coloma last Saturday said the President would explain “current national issues that touch upon the principles of good governance.”

Coloma urged the people to refrain from speculating and just wait for the President’s speech. He belied talks the administration is “panicking” and said the President just wants the chance to talk with his “bosses.”

The administration has been under heavy fire since July 1 when the Supreme Court issued a decision declaring parts of the DAP as unconstitutional. The decision triggered impeachment moves against Aquino and calls for Abad’s resignation or ouster.

Aquino, speaking Friday morning at the start of the Cabinet budget presentation in Malacañang, said Abad offered to resign the day before but he decided not to accept the resignation. “To accept his resignation is to assign to him a wrong. And I can’t accept the notion that doing right by our people is a wrong,” he said.

The development invited more criticisms, like one that said the resignation was a bad script because it was not irrevocable.

A separate opinion on the SC decision called the DAP Abad’s “brainchild” but presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda has been saying Abad is not the DAP’s architect.

The DAP was introduced and implemented in 2011 to boost the economy, with fund allocations for slow-moving projects moved to fast-moving ones.

Coloma belied talks that Aquino rejected Abad’s resignation offer because the budget secretary knows a lot of Aquino’s secrets.

Sen. Francis Escudero said President Aquino is likely to issue a public apology when he addresses the nation today but hastened to add that it should be Abad who should address the public.

He said that after four years in Malacañang, the public should already know that it is the character of the President to shoulder all the problems, even if it is the responsibility of his Cabinet men.

“Hindi ko alam kung ano sasabihin niya pero malamang may kasamang paghingi ng tawad, kailangan man niya iyon o hindi. Pero sa pananaw ko, mas kailangan na masabi ng Pangulo na ito’y napunta sa tama, maayos at magagandang proyekto,” Escudero said in an interview over dzBB radio.

* He said it is better for Malacañang to explain where the DAP went before submitting to Congress its proposal for a P2.606-trillion national budget for 2015, so as not to stall budget deliberations.

Malacañang targets to submit the 2015 budget a day before Aquino delivers his state of the nation address on July 28.

Escudero, head of the Senate finance committee, has summoned Abad to a hearing on July 21.

Asked if the President would allow Abad to attend hearings when Congress decides to scrutinize DAP, Escudero said executive privilege could not be exercised by the President in this case. He noted Abad has submitted to the Supreme Court a list of projects funded by DAP, except that there are no supporting documents such as the special allotment release orders (SAROs) and there is no breakdown of projects by SARO.

“At iyon ang gusto naming makuha at malaman mula sa panig ng committee on finance,” he said.

GRILLING

At the House, Davao Rep. Isidro Ungab said grilling of Abad over the use of DAP funds will be inevitable once the House appropriations committee tackles the proposed national budget for 2015.

“The budget will already be submitted to the House of Representatives. We can take up all matters related to DAP during the budget hearings,” said Ungab, chairman of the appropriations committee, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, and among lawmakers implicated in the “pork barrel” scam.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the House has the authority to summon Abad, a former representative of Batanes, any time to explain how the DAP was spent.

He maintained that “DAP had been helpful to spur the economy and help people and the use of savings is a longstanding practice that they gave a name to.”

‘MOVE ON’

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance, advised Aquino to move on so he can focus on his job rather than waste time defending the “unconstitutional acts of his minions.”

“The Supreme Court did not say government should stop because of its decision to declare DAP unconstitutional. Why keep on justifying something that has been unanimously ruled as illegal?” he said.

He said many believe the President would use the speech today to “redeem himself from the political missteps and gaffes under his administration.”

He said he is puzzled as to why the President and his allies in the Liberal Party are wasting time defending DAP even after the Supreme Court decision.

Tiangco also said if Malacañang is serious in showing its “good faith” to the people, it must publish a full page list of DAP-funded projects in all major dailies so that the public will know if it is true that the DAP for congressmen who signed to impeach former Chief Justice Renato Corona could be coursed through only two agencies of government—Technology Resource Center and National Dairy Authority.

“If true, how does National Dairy spur growth? Or was this the easiest way to make money out of it,” Tiangco said.

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches urged Aquino to heed the public clamor and disclose where the DAP funds went.

“At the least, (he should) call for the full disclosure of how DAP funds were allocated and used in order to show truthfulness to Tuwid na Daan (straight path),” said Bishop Efraim Tendero, PCEC national director.

Tendero also said Aquino’s decision to retain Abad only shows his “loyalty” to allies who he believes are not committing any wrongdoing, but this should not mean that Abad should already be allowed to go scot-free.

IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINTS

Left-leaning groups are expected to file two impeachment complaints this week.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon said the group Bayan will file its complaint with the Office of the Secretary General on Wednesday.

The complaint will be endorsed by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, himself a DAP recipient.

On Thursday, youth groups led by Youth Act Now! will file a complaint which will be endorsed by Ridon.

The complaints are expected to be consolidated when these reach the House justice committee. The Constitution prohibits the initiation of more than one complaint against the same official within the same year.

“We are talking about a minimum of two complaints to be filed from Makabayan bloc. The Bayan complaint will be endorsed by Bayan Muna congressmen and the Kabataan complaint will be endorsed obviously by the Kabataan party-list,” Ridon said. – With JP Lopez, Wendell Vigilia and Gerard Naval

Signal No. 2 raised in five provinces, Signal No. 1 in Metro Manila due to ‘Glenda’ By Bong Lozada |INQUIRER.net12:37 pm | Monday, July 14th, 2014



MANILA, Philippines–Tropical Storm “Glenda” (international name: Rammasun) has intensified, leading to the raising of public storm warning signal no. 2 in five provinces.

In its weather advisory before noon Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, and Sorsogon are under signal no. 2.

Areas under signal no.1 are Masbate, Burias and Ticao Islands, Marinduque, Quezon, Polillo Islands, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Southern Aurora, Northern Samar, and Metro Manila.

Pagasa estimates that ‘Glenda’ is located at 620 kilometers East of Virac, Catanduanes packing maximum winds of 95 kilometers per hour and gusts of 120 kph.

Pagasa warns residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under signals no.1 and 2 to be alert against possible flashfloods and landslides while those living in coastal areas under signal no. 2 are warned against storm surges.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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