WORLD CUP FINAL: POPE VERSUS POPE AS ARGENTINE FACE GERMANY 

JULY 13 --ReutersThe rivals: Pope Francis (left) embraces Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Reigning Pope Francis, from Argentina, will be staying up late to watch the game but predeccessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, from Germany, needs his sleep. With Germany and Argentina set to go head-to-head in the biggest football match in the world tonight, two of the countries’ most famous fans will be pitted against each other inside the world’s smallest state, writes Patrick Hill in the Sunday People. Reigning Pope Francis, from Argentina, and his predeccessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, from Germany, live in nearby living quarters at the Vatican in Rome, Italy. Francis, a huge football fan who supports his hometown club San Lorenzo de Almagro, is planning to stay up past his usual bedtime in order to watch the match. But aides of the Pope Emeritus, thought to support Bayern Munich, say it is unlikely he will do the same joking “it would be like inflicting an infinite penitence on him at the age of 87.” The source added: “He has never been able to watch a football match from beginning to end in his life”. That has not stopped football fans, the Italian media and even members of the clergy joking about the rivalry between the pair ahead of the match. A member of the Vatican communications team, Father Thomas Rosica, quipped online: “Unconfirmed reports in Italian media: large quantities of mate and Fanta delivered to Vatican for private event Sunday’ referring to the famous Argentine tipple and the German fizzy drink.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: In the face of ratings drop, PNoy defends DAP; blames Arroyo govt 

GMA NEWS NETWORK: JULY 14 --In the face of eroding public trust and satisfaction on his administration, President Benigno Aquino III
on Monday once again faced the public to defend his administration's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), partially declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Aquino began his speech by criticizing former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's administration for supposedly anomalous processes involving the country's budget. "Mapapaisip ka kung saan nila dinala ang pera... Malinaw na maraming nagaganap na katiwalian sa paggawa ng budget noon kaya isinaayos natin," he said. The President also enumerated the supposed benefits of the DAP, including electrification of some sitios and the construction of school buildings. "Binigyan po tayo ng pagkakataong maipatupad kaagad ang benepisyong may agarang pakinabang sa ating mga boss. Sa ganitong paraan, ang mga naantalang benepisyo ay napapalitan ng mga benepisyong mas maagang nakakamit ng taumbayan," he said. Cabinet officials, including Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad, were present during the Aquino's speech. Some administration senators and congressmen were also in attendance. Vice President Jejomar Binay was also in the audience. Binay's United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) has supported the filing of criminal charges against Abad over the DAP. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy challenges SC decision on DAP

PHILSTAR: JULY 15 --ADDRESS TO THE BOSSES: President Aquino explains to the nation the Disbursement Acceleration Program at Malacañang yesterday. The legal battle over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) isn’t over. President Aquino openly questioned yesterday the unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court (SC), which declared key portions of the DAP unconstitutional, and said his administration would seek a reversal of the decision. In a 20-minute address to his “bosses” the people last night, the President also alluded to something that he said the SC had done in the past that could be worse than the DAP, but which the executive believed deserved the presumption of regularity. Why, he asked, couldn’t the high tribunal do the same for the DAP? Aquino did not go into details, but reliable sources said it involved over P1 billion in judiciary funds that his political allies are set to look into when the second regular session of the 16th Congress opens at the end of the month. The speech put the President on a collision course with the nation’s highest court. Some quarters considered it defiance and raised concerns over a looming constitutional crisis and anarchy. With his Cabinet and congressional leaders in the audience at Malacañang, the President again defended the DAP, tracing its history and blaming the corruption in the administration of his predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for creating the need to set up a stimulus program. Malacañang also released the full list of DAP funded projects. Click link below for the complete list Aquino sidestepped calls for the resignation of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, who was in the audience and who is painted as the architect of the DAP. * READ MORE...

(ALSO From Kabataan) NOTHING NEW: Aquino fails to disclose new DAP details in primetime speech 

KABATAAN: JULY 15 --At exactly 6 p.m., President Benigno Aquino III faced the Filipino people on national television to try and defend the assailed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), yet the president failed to disclose “any new details” on DAP and instead rehashed the same arguments that his spokespersons have been saying in the past days. “Before President Benigno Aquino III started his speech, he had two chances to salvage his presidency – slim and none.
But now slim has left the town,” said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon who listened to Aquino’s speech along with peoples’ organizations gathered in Plaza Miranda. The youth representative summarized the whole speech briefly: “In the first half of his speech, he again blamed the Arroyo administration for the inefficiencies and large-scale corruption that supposedly slowed government spending for the first two years of his presidency. After that, while exalting in his presidential hubris, Aquino openly assailed the Supreme Court decision that declared DAP as unconstitutional, even going as far as using the ‘conscience card’ against the justices. Then he ended with his usual musings of tuwid na daan, apparently looking very pleased with himself.” “Mabuti ang DAP,” Aquino said defiantly, pointing to Section 39 Book 6, Chapter 5 of the Administrative Code of 1987 which is about the use and transfer of savings. Putting the gavel of justice in his own hand, Aquino said that Malacanang would appeal the SC decision, even if it was “suntok sa buwan.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace unfazed by survey; undaunted 

MANILA BULLETIN: JULY 15 --.....DOWN IN ALL AREAS --In the SWS survey, President Aquino’s net rating in all areas also declined – Visayas, +39 (from +49); Mindanao, +40 (from +55); rest of Luzon, +16 (from +41), and Metro Manila, +6 (from +33). Rural net satisfaction was down 14 points to +35, and down 26 points in urban areas to +15. By socioeconomic classes, it dropped seven points to +32 among Class ABC, down 13 points to +31 among the poorest Class E, and lower by 23 points among the masa or Class D to +22. PALACE UNDAUNTED Despite the dip in the President’s ratings, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda: “A healthy majority has expressed trust and confidence in the President.” “We believe that as the President explains to the people the truth of the matter with ongoing issues, the public will understand and respect the tough choices he has made for the public good,” he added. Congressmen expressed confidence that President Aquino’s declining approval and trust ratings would bounce back as they encouraged the Chief Executive to continue implementing reforms and govern with “integrity and decisiveness” in the last remaining years of his leadership stint. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. downplayed the recent dip in Mr. Aquino’s approval and trust ratings, saying that it would bounce back in time. Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said President Aquino should not be distracted and should not be worried by the drop in his ratings. READ FULL REPORT FROM BEGINNING.....

ALSO: Aquino defies SC, insists DAP legal

MANILA TIMES: JULY 15 --In his speech at Malacañang on Monday, President Benigno Aquino 3rd warned of a collision between the Executive and the Judiciary. President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday openly criticized the Supreme Court (SC) for its ruling that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is unconstitutional. To dramatize his defiance, Aquino warned that the issue may cause a head-on collision between the executive and the judiciary. “There are those who say that this decision might be a personal vendetta against me, that I am being dared to act in the same vindictive manner against them. All I can say, as the President, as the father of this country, is that we need temperance and forbearance, we must comply with due process,” he stressed.
“My message to the Supreme Court: We do not want two equal branches of government to go head to head, needing a third branch to step in to intervene. We find it difficult to understand your decision,” Aquino said.
He noted that this was not the first time that the SC did something that displeased him, alluding to his past disagreements with the court. “You had done something similar in the past, and you tried to do it again, there are even those of the opinion that what you attempted to commit was far graver. Abiding by the principle of ‘presumption of regularity,’ we assumed that you did the right thing, after all, you are the ones who should ostensibly have a better understanding of the law. And now, when we use the same mechanism, which, you yourselves have admitted, benefit our countrymen, why is it then that we are wrong?” the President asked.
He then urged the SC magistrates who “want only the best for the Filipino people” to “help us help our countrymen.”
“We ask that you review your decision, this time taking into consideration the points I have raised tonight. The nation hopes for your careful deliberation and response. And I hope that once you’ve examined the arguments I will submit, regarding the law and about our economy, solidarity will ensue, thus strengthening the entire government’s capability to push for the interests of the nation,’ Aquino said.* READ MORE...

ALSO: The man who did not clap: VP Binay reacts to PNoy decision 

ABS-CBN: JLY 15 --Vice-President Jejomar Binay apparently did not clap when President Aquino announced that he did not accept the resignation of Budget Secretary Butch Abad. Binay issued a statement saying that he respects the President'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," he said. Binay's ally, United Nationalist Alliance secretary-general Toby Tiangco, refused to comment on why Binay apparently did not clap when Aquino announced that he rejected Abad's resignation after the Supreme Court declared parts of the disbursement acceleration program (DAP) as unconstitutional. He said he has not yet talked to the Vice President. "One thing I'm sure of is gusto niya ng transparency," he said. The UNA official had urged the President to fire Abad over the DAP and order concerned agencies "to file plunder and other administrative and criminal cases against the budget chief." Several sectors have also called for Abad's removal, noting that the budget chief is the program's architect. Binay has publicly expressed his support for Aquino amid calls for the President's impeachment over the DAP. However, he has also called for full disclosure and an independent audit of projects under the DAP. "Let me state as a lawyer that the question of accountabilities of government officials would have to be reckoned as part of the legal and logical consequences of this groundbreaking decision. As you all know, the Supreme Court (SC) has placed the onus of proving 'good faith' on those who conceived and implemented the DAP," Binay said in a speech during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Manila. He said the SC decision was clear on the matter of accountability. He said there are no hidden clues in the decision. "But where do we start? For me, a good starting point would be to make available to the public all the projects funded by DAP. This is after all, consistent with the tenets of full transparency that is the cornerstone of the Aquino administration, and I do hope my colleagues will reconsider a reported decision to withhold the release of the so-called DAP list," he said. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Critics won’t buy Aquino’s DAP ‘palusot’

MANILA STANDARD: JULY 15 --Situationer. Senator Serge Osmeña III (right) and Rep. Lito Atienza take turns discussing the political situation and their legislative agenda during the Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel news forum in Manila on Monday. CRITICS tore into President Benigno Aquino III for threatening the Supreme Court and defending his discredited Disbursement Acceleration Program in a nationally televised address Monday night that they said was long on excuses and short on specifics about how the diverted money was spent. “The President was sending the wrong signal to corrupt officials by insisting on his stand that the unconstitutional DAP is right. So any corrupt official can do no wrong and steal the taxpayers’ money for as long as he or she thinks stealing for the poor is right,” said former national treasurer and Social Watch Philippines convener Leonor Magtolis-Briones.
Briones, one of the petitioners who successfully challenged the legality of the DAP before the Supreme Court, said the President could not invoke “good faith” because he knew the DAP was unconstitutional from the start. “The President was just making palusot (excuses). Nobody believes him. The impeachment will push through,” said Renato Reyes Jr., secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, another petitioner against the DAP. United Nationalist Alliance secretary general and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said the President’s speech was offensive. “He didn’t just make (palusot) excuses. He tried to intimidate and blame the Supreme Court. So now he is above the law. He decides whether what he does is legal or not,” Tiangco said. “The speech is worse than DAP.”  * READ MORE...


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World Cup Final: Pope versus Pope as Argentina face Germany



ReutersThe rivals: Pope Francis (left) embraces Pope Emeritus Benedict XVIReigning Pope Francis, from Argentina, will be staying up late to watch the game but predeccessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, from Germany, needs his sleep

MANILA, JULY 15, 2014 (MIRROR.COM.UK) Jul 13, 2014 15:24 By Patrick Hill - With Germany and Argentina set to go head-to-head in the biggest football match in the world tonight, two of the countries’ most famous fans will be pitted against each other inside the world’s smallest state, writes Patrick Hill in the Sunday People.

Reigning Pope Francis, from Argentina, and his predeccessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, from Germany, live in nearby living quarters at the Vatican in Rome, Italy.

Francis, a huge football fan who supports his hometown club San Lorenzo de Almagro, is planning to stay up past his usual bedtime in order to watch the match.

But aides of the Pope Emeritus, thought to support Bayern Munich, say it is unlikely he will do the same joking “it would be like inflicting an infinite penitence on him at the age of 87.”

The source added: “He has never been able to watch a football match from beginning to end in his life”.

That has not stopped football fans, the Italian media and even members of the clergy joking about the rivalry between the pair ahead of the match.

A member of the Vatican communications team, Father Thomas Rosica, quipped online: “Unconfirmed reports in Italian media: large quantities of mate and Fanta delivered to Vatican for private event Sunday’ referring to the famous Argentine tipple and the German fizzy drink.”

* Father Daniele Laghi of Trento, North Italy, tweeted a picture of the two pontiffs face to face with a speech bubble saying ‘Your place or mine on Sunday?’ ‘Or a big screen in St. Peter’s?’

And The Jesuit Post tweeted a cartoon of the popes watching the match together, with the tag: ‘It’s official, This is SOOO happening in Rome on Sunday.’

Formerly known as Jorge Bergoglio, the current Pope has been careful to remain neutral in his references to the world cup saying he wished for ‘a wonderful World Cup, played in a spirit of true fraternity’.

He said diplomatically: “The World Cup allowed people from different countries and religions to come together.

May sport always promote the culture of encounter.”

PHNO: AMEN!

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

In the face of ratings drop, PNoy defends DAP; blames Arroyo govt By ANDREO CALONZO, GMA NewsJuly 14, 2014 5:59pm 3 13 0 288 Tags: Benigno Aquino III (Updated 8:40 p.m.)


AQUINO

In the face of eroding public trust and satisfaction on his administration, President Benigno Aquino III on Monday once again faced the public to defend his administration's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), partially declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Aquino began his speech by criticizing former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's administration for supposedly anomalous processes involving the country's budget.

"Mapapaisip ka kung saan nila dinala ang pera... Malinaw na maraming nagaganap na katiwalian sa paggawa ng budget noon kaya isinaayos natin," he said.

The President also enumerated the supposed benefits of the DAP, including electrification of some sitios and the construction of school buildings.

"Binigyan po tayo ng pagkakataong maipatupad kaagad ang benepisyong may agarang pakinabang sa ating mga boss. Sa ganitong paraan, ang mga naantalang benepisyo ay napapalitan ng mga benepisyong mas maagang nakakamit ng taumbayan," he said.

Cabinet officials, including Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad, were present during the Aquino's speech. Some administration senators and congressmen were also in attendance.

Vice President Jejomar Binay was also in the audience. Binay's United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) has supported the filing of criminal charges against Abad over the DAP.

* Pollster Pulse Asia earlier reported a significant drop in Aquino's trust and approval ratings based on a survey covering the period when the DAP was declared partially unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Earlier DAP defense

Last October, Aquino also delivered a televised message to defend the DAP, where he said the issue is only being used by some personalities to divert the public's attention away from the alleged pork barrel scam.

Aquino delivered this earlier televised message amid reports that an internal survey showed a drastic drop in his approval ratings.

The DAP controversy started making headlines last September after Senator Jinggoy Estrada, an accused in the pork barrel scam, bared during a privilege speech that he and other senators who favored former Chief Justice Renato Corona's conviction in 2012 received P50 million each in additional funds months after the impeachment trial in the Senate.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad later admitted that the additional funds came from the DAP, but maintained that the allocations were neither bribes nor incentives.

Two weeks ago, the SC declared certain acts under the government's DAP as unconstitutional, including the declaration of unobligated and unprogrammed funds as savings, the transfers of savings from one government branch to another, and the funding of projects not stated in the national budget.

Malacañang has repeatedly said that the DAP was undertaken in good faith to boost the country's economic performance. —KBK, GMA News

FROM PHILSTAR

Noy challenges SC decision on DAP By Aurea Calica and Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 15, 2014 - 12:00am 0 7 googleplus0 0

T
ADDRESS TO THE BOSSES: President Aquino explains to the nation the Disbursement Acceleration Program at Malacañang yesterday.

he legal battle over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) isn’t over.

President Aquino openly questioned yesterday the unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court (SC), which declared key portions of the DAP unconstitutional, and said his administration would seek a reversal of the decision.

In a 20-minute address to his “bosses” the people last night, the President also alluded to something that he said the SC had done in the past that could be worse than the DAP, but which the executive believed deserved the presumption of regularity. Why, he asked, couldn’t the high tribunal do the same for the DAP?

Aquino did not go into details, but reliable sources said it involved over P1 billion in judiciary funds that his political allies are set to look into when the second regular session of the 16th Congress opens at the end of the month.

The speech put the President on a collision course with the nation’s highest court. Some quarters considered it defiance and raised concerns over a looming constitutional crisis and anarchy.

With his Cabinet and congressional leaders in the audience at Malacañang, the President again defended the DAP, tracing its history and blaming the corruption in the administration of his predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for creating the need to set up a stimulus program.

Malacañang also released the full list of DAP funded projects. Click here for the complete list

Aquino sidestepped calls for the resignation of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, who was in the audience and who is painted as the architect of the DAP.

*  The SC decision said Abad could be held liable for the DAP. The budget chief, one of the President’s most trusted aides, faces a plunder complaint in connection with the stimulus program, for which he could be arrested and held without bail.

Insisting that “DAP is good; our intentions, our processes, and the results were correct,” the President urged the SC justices, in a speech delivered mainly in Filipino, to “help us help our countrymen… Do not bar us from doing what we swore to do.”

He stressed that he did not want a clash between the executive and judicial branches as he announced that the administration is preparing to file a motion for reconsideration of the SC ruling.

Reliable sources said Malacañang had strongly lobbied for the DAP to be upheld. Some SC justices were reportedly willing to go along if Abad would be replaced.

Malacañang refused, and sent word that an adverse ruling would lead to a public scrutiny of over P1 billion in special allowances for judges and justices or SAJJ, which is apart from the Judiciary Development Fund.

The sources said the SC justices apparently felt they were being blackmailed. Their vote for the DAP, initially at 9-3 against the stimulus program, became unanimous on July 3.

Aquino likened himself to a motorist who parks in a no-parking area to save an injured accident victim, and is being punished for breaking parking regulations.

His situation “might be even worse,” he said. “I am, after all, being arrested for parking in an area that up to now hasn’t yet been declared a no-parking zone. Is this reasonable?”

Reiterating his defense of good faith, he said, “We did not break the law when we implemented DAP.”

And unlike the congressional pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from which lawmakers are accused of skimming billions, he said the government did not steal people’s money through the stimulus program.

“We do not want two equal branches of government to go head to head, needing a third branch to step in to intervene,” he emphasized.

‘Use it or lose it’

Endemic corruption characterized the budgeting system in the Arroyo administration and did not benefit the people, Aquino said.

But another problem arose as his new administration moved to clean up spending and implementation. Projects and programs moved slowly, and underspending affected projects needed especially by the poor, such as irrigation.

That was when they started looking at savings. Sometimes savings are good, he said, but sometimes they mean under-utilization of funds that could otherwise be put to better use.

The SC, in its ruling, said only funds left over from programmed appropriations at the end of the fiscal year can be classified as savings and impounded by the executive.

Aquino said this would mean a wait of several months for the funds to be utilized and for public biddings to be held.

Projects needing immediate funding would have to be delayed, he said, citing relocation efforts that must be completed before the typhoon season. It’s a case of “use it or lose it,” he argued.

Aquino cited the DAP for ending the shortage of classrooms and completion of village electrification.

Addressing SC justices, he said, “We ask that you review your decision, this time taking into consideration the points I have raised… The nation hopes for your careful deliberation and response. And I hope that once you’ve examined the arguments I will submit, regarding the law and about our economy, solidarity will ensue – thus strengthening the entire government’s capability to push for the interests of the nation.”

He wondered why the SC did not consider the legal basis for the DAP, which was the Administrative Code of 1987.

Aquino also noted that the SC itself, the World Bank and even critics of the DAP admitted that the stimulus program helped improve the economy.

He asked for clarity in the SC ruling, adding, “Perhaps they can even identify DAP’s negative effect on the country.”

Vendetta?

“There are those who say that this decision might be a personal vendetta against me – that I am being dared to act in the same vindictive manner against them,” he said. “All I can say – as the President, as the father of this country – is that we need temperance and forbearance. We must comply with due process.”

Aquino said any lawyer would caution against a motion for reconsideration of a 13-0 vote against DAP, with one abstention.

“The mere hope that the decision will be overturned is a monumental one. We had also been warned that pushing through with this motion might put us in greater danger,” he said.

Addressing SC justices, he said, “We find it difficult to understand your decision. You had done something similar in the past, and you tried to do it again; there are even those of the opinion that what you attempted to commit was far graver. Abiding by the principle of presumption of regularity, we assumed that you did the right thing; after all, you are the ones who should ostensibly have a better understanding of the law. And now, when we use the same mechanism – which, you yourselves have admitted, benefit our countrymen – why is it then that we are wrong?”

Aquino did not give details on what the SC had done.

“We believe that the majority of you, like us, want only the best for the Filipino people,” he said. “Perhaps no one will dare to doubt that we have pushed for reform these past four years. And I must ask: what is expected from those of us who are advancing reform?”

Righting the wrongs

Aquino said the system that they inherited from Arroyo was one that did not help, or did not do enough to help, the people.

“We are now righting the wrongs in the system, so that it may work towards this goal: to uphold the interests of the people, our bosses who handed us our mandate,” he said. “Shouldn’t you be siding with us in pushing for reform? Let us, therefore, end this vicious cycle that has taken our people hostage.”

To his “bosses,” he promised: “I will not allow your suffering to be prolonged – especially if we could do what we can as early as now.”

He cited Book VI, Chapter 5, Section 39 of the 1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines, which states: “Except as otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act, any savings in the regular appropriations authorized in the General Appropriations Act for programs and projects of any department, office or agency, may, with the approval of the President, be used to cover a deficit in any other item of the regular appropriations.”

“As you can see, this law openly gives the President the power to transfer savings to other projects. It does not limit the transfer to only one department or branch of government. In other words: we did not transgress the law when we implemented DAP. The Constitution and the Administrative Code are not at odds with each other,” Aquino said.

“Even until now, Section 39 of the Administrative Code is in effect, along with its other sections,” he stressed.

The President said this became even more worrisome when taking into account the “operative fact doctrine,” which the SC also mentioned in its decision.

“This is simple. When a Supreme Court declares as unconstitutional any law or edict by the executive, only those projects yet to be implemented under said law are deemed prohibited. The declaration does not include completed projects if this means stripping our citizens of benefits. This is only natural because it is not right to destroy bridges that have already been built, or to demolish houses that have already been bestowed to families of informal settlers,” Aquino said.

He pointed out that under the same doctrine, project implementers are not held accountable if there was good faith. The SC said good faith must be established in court.

“In their decision, the judges immediately presume the absence of good faith, which would then have to be proven through trial. What happened to the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty?’” the President argued.

He assured those affected by DAP-funded projects now on hold as a result of the SC ruling that he would ask Congress for a supplemental budget.

GMA blamed

He said when he assumed power, only P100 billion or 6.5 percent of the P1.54-trillion appropriation for the year was left. There were fat bonuses even for officials of government corporations that were operating at a loss.

For a project to dredge Laguna de Bay, he said the government was supposed to pay P18.7 billion “just to play with mud.”

“DAP is not a project – it is an efficient way of spending the budget; it follows the law and adheres to the mandate granted to the executive branch,” he said.

Tracing the creation of the stimulus program, he narrated: “Hours before delivering my SONA in 2011, I was given a progress report by all government departments. I was taken aback by certain information given to us.”

“Is it not right that funds that had been otherwise left unused were utilized for programs that had proven effective, so that targets can be met and the benefits to the people can ensue at the soonest possible time?” he asked.

“Another advantage of this system: projects that were temporarily suspended for a given year would not have to compete for funding with the other finished projects in the following year. This is clearly a win-win situation,” Aquino reiterated.

He said “any good leader would want to implement projects that benefit the public at the soonest possible time.”

“It is clear that if you delay the benefits due them, you prolong the suffering of the Filipino people,” Aquino said.

FROM KABATAAN NEWS WEBSITE

NOTHING NEW: Aquino fails to disclose new DAP details in primetime speech 14 JULY 2014 106 VIEWS NO COMMENT

At exactly 6 p.m., President Benigno Aquino III faced the Filipino people on national television to try and defend the assailed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), yet the president failed to disclose “any new details” on DAP and instead rehashed the same arguments that his spokespersons have been saying in the past days.

“Before President Benigno Aquino III started his speech, he had two chances to salvage his presidency – slim and none.

But now slim has left the town,” said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon who listened to Aquino’s speech along with peoples’ organizations gathered in Plaza Miranda.

The youth representative summarized the whole speech briefly: “In the first half of his speech, he again blamed the Arroyo administration for the inefficiencies and large-scale corruption that supposedly slowed government spending for the first two years of his presidency. After that, while exalting in his presidential hubris, Aquino openly assailed the Supreme Court decision that declared DAP as unconstitutional, even going as far as using the ‘conscience card’ against the justices. Then he ended with his usual musings of tuwid na daan, apparently looking very pleased with himself.”

“Mabuti ang DAP,” Aquino said defiantly, pointing to Section 39 Book 6, Chapter 5 of the Administrative Code of 1987 which is about the use and transfer of savings.

Putting the gavel of justice in his own hand, Aquino said that Malacanang would appeal the SC decision, even if it was “suntok sa buwan.”

* The president even issued a subdued warning to SC justices: “Ayaw nating umabot pa sa puntong nagbabanggaan ang dalawang sangay ng gobyerno,” Aquino quipped.

“President Aquino has apparently lost himself. He simply parroted weak statements defending DAP’s legality, and garnished it with some anti-Arroyo angst. We expected that his speech would be full of lies, but we did not expect it to be this bad,” Ridon said.

“In so many words, Aquino again passed the blame to the Arroyo administration. But he failed to point out that even the World Bank itself already faulted his administration for slowing down government spending during his first year in office,” Ridon said.

The youth solon emphasized that Aquino failed to disclose any new details about the controversial program. “Where’s transparency? Where’s accountability? For all we know, they’re not in Noynoy’s speech.”

No benefit from DAP

“Aquino also failed miserably to defend DAP’s supposed economic benefit. I guess we had high expectations for him. We did not expect that he would give a speech as empty and as unconvincing as this,” Ridon said.

Aquino and other Palace officials have earlier claimed that the DAP stimulated the economy in 2011, with DAP contributing to 1.3 percentage point to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the last quarter of 2011.

“The government’s Disbursement Acceleration Plan was partially successful and contributed 1.3 percentage points (ppt) to GDP growth in Q4, up from 0.3 ppt in Q3, but this was not enough to push growth up to the targeted level of around five percent,” the World Bank noted in the said report.

However, the World Bank also clarified in a footnote to the same report that the 1.3 percentage point contribution actually refers to the total government consumption and public construction, and thus is not a result of DAP alone.

Independent think tank IBON Foundation has earlier explained that the P61.4 billion DAP-related spending in 2011 accounts only for 19.8 percent of total government spending in the fourth quarter of 2011. Total spending is the sum of government final consumption expenditure and public construction in the national income accounts measured at current prices.

IBON computed that the real contribution of DAP-related spending to economic growth is “likely just one-fourth of a percentage point at most in the fourth quarter of 2011 and less than a tenth of a percentage point for 2011 as a whole.”

Ridon also said that in the same Philippine quarterly report, the World Bank itself belittled the effects of DAP on the overall economic standing of the country.

“While the [DAP] strategy helped to boost public spending in the last quarter of 2011, the mere realignment of funds does not guarantee sustained improvement in public spending to address growth and poverty targets. A long-term strategy should address internal bottlenecks in national government agencies, which include low absorptive capacity of agencies and weak monitoring and evaluation system, among others,” the World Bank said.

In a subsequent report published in July 2012, the World Bank explained that the overall effect of disbursement acceleration for public construction has been eaten up by the deceleration of private construction.

“Construction remained sluggish at around the 2011 level, growing negligibly by 0.3 percent. Private construction growth contracted for the third consecutive quarter, offsetting a 62 percent growth in public construction which was driven by the acceleration of government disbursements,” the World Bank explained.

The said report showed that the main drivers of GDP growth are rising exports and steady inflow of remittances.

“Aquino just wasted our time with his arrogant yet empty speech. Mabuti pa sana, nanood na lang kami ng telenovela, baka may napala pa kami,” Ridon ended.

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Palace unfazed by survey PNoy ratings drop; lawmakers confident he’ll bounce back by Ellalyn De Vera July 15, 2014 MANILA BULLETIN

President Aquino’s satisfaction and trust ratings dropped to its lowest since 2010.

Despite the double-digit decline in the President’s ratings in separate surveys conducted by Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Stations (SWS), Malacañang remains unfazed. Instead, it is determined to step up public service and other reforms in the remainder of his term.

Based on the nationwide Pulse Asia survey conducted from June 24 to July 2 – the period when plunder and graft charges were filed against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla Jr. and the Supreme Court ruled the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional – President Aquino got a 56-percent approval rating, 14 percent lower than the 70 percent recorded in the March survey. In the same survey period, 53 percent continue to express trust in him, compared to the 69 percent in the previous quarter.

LOWEST SINCE 2010

Ana Maria Tabunda, Pulse Asia research director, said Aquino’s approval and trust ratings are so far the “lowest statistically and numerically” since 2010.

In the nationwide SWS survey conducted June 27-30 among 1,200 respondents, 55 percent expressed satisfaction with the President’s performance in the past three months, while 30 percent said otherwise, bringing his net rating to “moderate” +25.

SWS said the President’s rating, which is 20 points lower than the +45 net satisfaction rating (66 percent satisfied, 21 percent dissatisfied) in March is his lowest since he assumed office in 2010. President Aquino’s previous personal record low was +42 received in May, 2002.

Net satisfaction ratings of +70 and above is classified by SWS as “excellent”; +50 to +69, “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”; +9 to -9, “neutral”; -10 to -29, “poor”; -30 to -49, “bad”; -50 to -69, “very bad”; and -70 and below, “execrable.”

The results of the SWS survey were first published on BusinessWorld yesterday.

UP IN PROVINCES, DOWN IN METRO

In the Pulse Asia survey, President Aquino received majority approval and trust ratings in the rest of Luzon (54 percent and 51 percent, respectively), in the Visayas (62 percent and 61 percent, respectively), and Mindanao (both at 61 percent).

However, less than half of those surveyed in Metro Manila have positive views on the presidential performance and trustworthiness (46 percent and 40 percent, respectively).

President Aquino experienced a significant drop of 14 percentage points in his approval ratings between March and June, 2014, in the rest of Luzon. His approval rating in Mindanao also dropped by 19 percentage points.

On the President’s trust rating, it registered a remarkable decrease in Mindanao (15 percentage points), Metro Manila (17 percentage points), and the rest of Luzon (19 percentage points).

Among various socio-economic classes, most of those belonging to Classes D (masa) and E (poorest) approve of President Aquino’s performance (57 percent and 58 percent, respectively) and express trust in him (54 percent and 55 percent, respectively).

However, fewer Filipinos expressed approval and trust in President Aquino among the upper-to-middle Class ABC (48 percent and 42 percent, respectively).

The President’s trust ratings in all socio-economic groupings declined significantly, 14 to 20 percentage points.

A little over one in 10 Filipinos or 14 percent expressed disapproval for the work done by the President in the past three months as well as distrust him. Presidential disapproval scores ranged from 7 to 18 percent in the various geographic locations and from 12 to 22 percent across socio-economic groupings.

In terms of distrust figures, they vary from 9 to 17 percent across geographic areas and from 12 to 24 percent across socio-economic classes.

Residents of Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon as well as those in Class ABC are most critical of President Aquino (17 to 22 percent) and most inclined to distrust him (17 to 24 percent).

Pulse Asia said these figures do not differ from those posted by President Aquino in March, 2014, at the national level as well as across geographic areas and socio-economic classes.

Immediately prior to and during the conduct of the field interviews for the survey, among the issues that preoccupied aside from the pork barrel charges and DAP are: the 90-day suspension of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; continued tension between the Philippines and China over disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea; President Aquino’s rejection of the nomination of actress Nora Aunor as National Artist; and increase in the prices of oil, rice, garlic, and sugar.

DOWN IN ALL AREAS

In the SWS survey, President Aquino’s net rating in all areas also declined – Visayas, +39 (from +49); Mindanao, +40 (from +55); rest of Luzon, +16 (from +41), and Metro Manila, +6 (from +33).

Rural net satisfaction was down 14 points to +35, and down 26 points in urban areas to +15.

By socioeconomic classes, it dropped seven points to +32 among Class ABC, down 13 points to +31 among the poorest Class E, and lower by 23 points among the masa or Class D to +22.

PALACE UNDAUNTED

Despite the dip in the President’s ratings, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda: “A healthy majority has expressed trust and confidence in the President.”

“We believe that as the President explains to the people the truth of the matter with ongoing issues, the public will understand and respect the tough choices he has made for the public good,” he added.

Congressmen expressed confidence that President Aquino’s declining approval and trust ratings would bounce back as they encouraged the Chief Executive to continue implementing reforms and govern with “integrity and decisiveness” in the last remaining years of his leadership stint.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. downplayed the recent dip in Mr. Aquino’s approval and trust ratings, saying that it would bounce back in time.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said President Aquino should not be distracted and should not be worried by the drop in his ratings.

NOT SURPRISING

But senators are not surprised with the drop in President Aquino’s net satisfaction rating.

Senator Joseph Victor (JV) Ejercito said that though the controversy over the DAP is a big factor that contributed to the drop in Aquino’s rating, other issues that affected the day-to-day lives of the Filipinos contributed to this as well.

“PNoy is lucky to have an extended honeymoon period of almost four years. People believed and supported his thrust of good governance, the ‘daang matuwid’ (straight path). But reality bites. People are now looking for performance,” Ejercito said.

“In reality, there was not much jobs created since 2010, poverty incidence level has not improved and to make it worst, prices of commodities are going up and services and utilities are deteriorating,” he said.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara echoed Ejercito’s observation, acknowledging that the negative ratings the President got was due to the people’s dissatisfaction over his administration’s performance, including the government’s inability to prevent the increase in the prices of basic commodities such as garlic and rice.

“Apart from that is the Supreme Court’s decision on the DAP. Criticisms rained down on his administration so it’s no longer surprising,” Angara said.

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III also said it could not be helped because not only was the Aquino administration’s credibility affected, the “peoples’ pockets were also affected.”

But senators are confident the President can still regain the people’s trust and confidence in his administration.

“I still believe he can recover in the next few months as long as they present all the good programs of the Aquino government on education health and other aspects that can be felt in the whole country,” Angara said.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV agreed with Angara, saying whatever is the outcome of the survey, the President and his men should “shape up” and improve the way they run the government. (With reports from Genalyn D. Kabiling, Charissa M. Luci, and Hannah L. Torregoza)

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Aquino defies SC, insists DAP legal July 14, 2014 10:31 pm by Joel M. Sy Egco Senior Reporter And Catherine Valente Reporter


In his speech at Malacañang on Monday, President Benigno Aquino 3rd warned of a collision between the Executive and the Judiciary. Photo By Melyn Acosta

President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday openly criticized the Supreme Court (SC) for its ruling that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is unconstitutional.

To dramatize his defiance, Aquino warned that the issue may cause a head-on collision between the executive and the judiciary.

“There are those who say that this decision might be a personal vendetta against me, that I am being dared to act in the same vindictive manner against them. All I can say, as the President, as the father of this country, is that we need temperance and forbearance, we must comply with due process,” he stressed.

“My message to the Supreme Court: We do not want two equal branches of government to go head to head, needing a third branch to step in to intervene. We find it difficult to understand your decision,” Aquino said.

He noted that this was not the first time that the SC did something that displeased him, alluding to his past disagreements with the court.

“You had done something similar in the past, and you tried to do it again, there are even those of the opinion that what you attempted to commit was far graver.

Abiding by the principle of ‘presumption of regularity,’ we assumed that you did the right thing, after all, you are the ones who should ostensibly have a better understanding of the law. And now, when we use the same mechanism, which, you yourselves have admitted, benefit our countrymen, why is it then that we are wrong?” the President asked.

He then urged the SC magistrates who “want only the best for the Filipino people” to “help us help our countrymen.”

“We ask that you review your decision, this time taking into consideration the points I have raised tonight. The nation hopes for your careful deliberation and response. And I hope that once you’ve examined the arguments I will submit, regarding the law and about our economy, solidarity will ensue, thus strengthening the entire government’s capability to push for the interests of the nation,’ Aquino said.

He maintained that the executive branch did not violate the law in implementing the acceleration program, and openly attacked the tribunal for striking out his project.

“It is clear that the Supreme Court has much to consider that they may better clarify their decision regarding the DAP, perhaps they can even identify the DAP’s negative effect on the country,” Aquino said.

The President insisted that the program was necessary to speed up priority projects and to pump-prime the economy.

“Without doubt, any good leader would want to implement projects that benefit the public at the soonest possible time. I do not see any reason to delay benefits for our countrymen, especially because we have the wherewithal to alleviate their plight. It is clear that if you delay the benefits due them, you prolong the suffering of the Filipino people,” he said.

Aquino added that the government will appeal the SC ruling and called on the justices to see DAP his way.

“We know that the system we inherited was one that did not help, or did not do enough to help, our countrymen. We are now righting the wrongs in the system, so that it may work toward this goal: To uphold the interests of the people, our bosses who handed us our mandate. Thus, to the Supreme Court, our message: Do not bar us from doing what we swore to do. Shouldn’t you be siding with us in pushing for reform? Let us, therefore, end this vicious cycle that has taken our people hostage,” he said.

The DAP allowed Malacanang to juggle savings, unprogrammed funds and allocations for slow-moving projects to priority projects. The SC ruled that the Palace usurped the power of Congress in implementing the program.

Aquino said DAP funds are not the same as the pork barrel funds, and there is nothing wrong and illegal with their use.

Records show that P137.3 billion has been released through the DAP as of October 1 last year. The amount included P82.5 billion in disbursements in 2011 and another P54.8 billion in 2012.

At least 91 percent of the DAP releases for 2011 and 2012 were channeled to projects of various government agencies and local government units.

The President denied stealing from public coffers through the DAP.

“The DAP is good. Our intentions, our processes, and the results were correct. Bosses, I promise you: I will not allow your suffering to be prolonged, especially if we could do what we can as early as now,” Aquino said.

DAP list released

Also on Monday night, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released a complete list of 116 projects under the controversial disbursement program.

Barely an hour after the President’s national address on the DAP, the department sent Palace reporters a 19-page detailed report containing the names of projects and amounts released through the acceleration program.

On the first page of the document, it said, “List of DAP-identified projects as of July 14, 2014.” The time of the document’s release was also noted at “4:30 p.m..”

Assistant Director Amanella Arevalo of the DBM’s Budget and Technical Service prepared and signed the report, which was also noted by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

The list indicated that from the P167 billion proposed funding for the DAP, only P144 billion have so far been released, leaving a balance of P13.6 billion.

It showed that the DAP came in six stages beginning in 2011. All the stages were approved by the Office of the President.

The DBM report said the first DAP stage was approved on October 12, 2011; second, on December 21, 2011; third, on June 27, 2012; fourth, on September 5, 2012; fifth, on December 21, 2012; and sixth, on June 14, 2013.

Outburst

The President’s speech on Monday night was reminiscent of his public outbursts against the high tribunal during the time of then-Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“The DAP is not a project, it is an efficient way of spending the budget, it follows the law and adheres to the mandate granted to the executive branch. We did this to properly allocate funds, and by so doing maximize the benefits that the people may receive,” he said.

Later in his speech, Aquino sounded more confrontational, addressing the SC directly and rebuking it for supposedly not siding with the people.

“The Supreme Court’s decision questions our use of savings, and raises concerns on when we can use unprogrammed funds. They want savings declared only at the 31st of December of each year. If that were the case, when would the government be free to utilize these funds? Following their logic on savings, projects that could have been funded in the middle of the current year would have to be delayed until the following year,” he said.

Since he assumed office, Aquino has been at loggerheads with the SC, first when the Corona court shot down the Truth Commission, which would have investigated alleged corruption committed by the past administration of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo.

Not long after, the SC under Corona ruled to distribute more than 4,000 hectares of sugar lands in the Cojuangco-Aquino-owned Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac province. After this ruling, Aquino heightened his attacks on the SC, eventually leading to the impeachment of Corona in 2012.

The impeachment by the House of Representatives was affirmed by the Senate that sat as an impeachment court in May 2012. Most senators voted to convict Corona.

FROM ABS-CBN

The man who did not clap: VP Binay reacts to PNoy decision ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 07/11/2014 4:01 PM | Updated as of 07/11/2014 4:01 PM


BINAY

MANILA - Vice-President Jejomar Binay apparently did not clap when President Aquino announced that he did not accept the resignation of Budget Secretary Butch Abad.

Binay issued a statement saying that he respects the President'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," he said.

Binay's ally, United Nationalist Alliance secretary-general Toby Tiangco, refused to comment on why Binay apparently did not clap when Aquino announced that he rejected Abad's resignation after the Supreme Court declared parts of the disbursement acceleration program (DAP) as unconstitutional.

He said he has not yet talked to the Vice President. "One thing I'm sure of is gusto niya ng transparency," he said.

The UNA official had urged the President to fire Abad over the DAP and order concerned agencies "to file plunder and other administrative and criminal cases against the budget chief."

Several sectors have also called for Abad's removal, noting that the budget chief is the program's architect.

Binay has publicly expressed his support for Aquino amid calls for the President's impeachment over the DAP.

However, he has also called for full disclosure and an independent audit of projects under the DAP.

"Let me state as a lawyer that the question of accountabilities of government officials would have to be reckoned as part of the legal and logical consequences of this groundbreaking decision. As you all know, the Supreme Court (SC) has placed the onus of proving 'good faith' on those who conceived and implemented the DAP," Binay said in a speech during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Manila.

He said the SC decision was clear on the matter of accountability. He said there are no hidden clues in the decision.

"But where do we start? For me, a good starting point would be to make available to the public all the projects funded by DAP. This is after all, consistent with the tenets of full transparency that is the cornerstone of the Aquino administration, and I do hope my colleagues will reconsider a reported decision to withhold the release of the so-called DAP list," he said.

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Critics won’t buy Aquino’s DAP ‘palusot’ By Christine F. Herrera, Maricel V. Cruz and Joel E. Zurbano | Jul. 15, 2014 at 12:01am


Situationer. Senator Serge Osmeña III (right) and Rep. Lito Atienza take turns discussing the political situation and their legislative agenda during the Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel news forum in Manila on Monday. LINO SANTOS

CRITICS tore into President Benigno Aquino III for threatening the Supreme Court and defending his discredited Disbursement Acceleration Program in a nationally televised address Monday night that they said was long on excuses and short on specifics about how the diverted money was spent.

“The President was sending the wrong signal to corrupt officials by insisting on his stand that the unconstitutional DAP is right. So any corrupt official can do no wrong and steal the taxpayers’ money for as long as he or she thinks stealing for the poor is right,” said former national treasurer and Social Watch Philippines convener Leonor Magtolis-Briones.

Briones, one of the petitioners who successfully challenged the legality of the DAP before the Supreme Court, said the President could not invoke “good faith” because he knew the DAP was unconstitutional from the start.

“The President was just making palusot (excuses). Nobody believes him. The impeachment will push through,” said Renato Reyes Jr., secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, another petitioner against the DAP.

United Nationalist Alliance secretary general and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said the President’s speech was offensive.

“He didn’t just make (palusot) excuses. He tried to intimidate and blame the Supreme Court. So now he is above the law. He decides whether what he does is legal or not,” Tiangco said. “The speech is worse than DAP.”

* Briones, Reyes and Tiangco demanded that the President make a full disclosure of the details of the DAP that was conceptualized five months into his term in 2010.

“The President could not absolve himself, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and the other key players in DAP scandal. He also could not invoke good faith until after an investigation has been done on all the 117 projects funded by the DAP funds,” Briones said.

She said full disclosure means a scrutiny of every project by the Commission on Audit to show that it was graft-free.

“How can the President absolve Abad or himself when not one of the 117 projects was audited and investigated? How sure is he that the project was not overpriced, substandard, [or that money was] not pocketed,” Briones said.

“The problem with the President is he thinks he and his allies are always right and those who disagree with them, even the Supreme Court are wrong. It is not good when the President already believes he can do no wrong and even if he is wrong, he is still right. That is dangerous,” Briones said.

“Now, the President did nothing but save himself and the Executive. But who will save the taxpayers? Who will save and defend the Constitution? He defies the Supreme Court, thus he defies the Constitution,” Briones said.

“Until now, they are unable to fully account for the funds spent. Aquino remains unrepentant to the end. The impeachment now becomes even more necessary in the face of Aquino’s arrogance. We file on Wednesday,” Reyes told the Manila Standard.

“Before President Aquino started his speech, he had two chances to salvage his presidency—slim and none. But now slim has left the town,” said Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon, who listened to the President’s speech along with people’s organizations gathered at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila.

Ridon said in the first half of the President’s speech, he again blamed the Arroyo administration for the inefficiencies and large-scale corruption that supposedly slowed government spending for the first two years of his presidency.

“After that, while exalting in his presidential hubris, Aquino openly assailed the Supreme Court decision that declared DAP as unconstitutional, even going as far as using the ‘conscience card’ against the justices. Then he ended with his usual musings of tuwid na daan, apparently looking very pleased with himself,” Ridon said.

Ridon said the President even issued a warning to SC justices about two co-equal branches of government going head-to-head.

“President Aquino has apparently lost himself. He simply parroted weak statements defending DAP’s legality, and garnished it with some anti-Arroyo angst. We expected that his speech would be full of lies, but we did not expect it to be this bad,” Ridon said.

Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, a member of the independent minority bloc in the House, described the President’s speech as sickening.

“When did he become the arbiter of the law? We did not elect a king, we elected a president,” he said.

De la Cruz said what the President said completely disrespected the country’s democratic process.

“Instead of strengthening the rule of law and our institutions, he has disregarded this,” he added.

Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus chided the President for comparing a violation of the Constitution to parking in a no-parking zone.

“The premature ‘savings’ [impounded by the administration] did not help the economy,” she said.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said the President showed that his administration was no different from the previous one.

Ridon added that the President was playing with smoke and mirrors in a last-ditch effort to salvage the DAP and is presidency.

“President Aquino thinks that he still has an ace up his sleeve, that the economic impact of DAP would be his saving grace. But he is out of luck, as even the World Bank has belittled the effects of DAP on the Philippine economy,” Ridon said.

Ridon said President Aquino could not drum up the economic achievements of DAP to cover up for his administration’s criminal liability.

“What we need to have is full public disclosure on how DAP funds were spent, and for the President to explain why he pushed for the implementation of DAP despite its clear unconstitutionality,” Ridon said.

“Most important of all, the Filipino public demands that Aquino admit liability for DAP, and face the consequences of his actions,” he said.

Aquino and other Palace officials earlier claimed that the DAP stimulated the economy in 2011, with DAP contributing to 1.3 percentage points to gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the last quarter of 2011.

But the World Bank report said the 1.3 percentage point gain referred to the total government consumption and public construction, and was not the result of DAP alone.

The think tank IBON Foundation, on the other hand, estimated that the real contribution of DAP-related spending to economic growth was “likely just one-fourth of a percentage point at most in the fourth quarter of 2011 and less than a tenth of a percentage point for 2011 as a whole.”

Senator Sergio Osmeña III said he was disappointed by the President’s speech, and said he must apologize as his predecessor did at the height of the Hello Garci scandal.

“You know, 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,” Osmeña said, saying that Abad should resign.

But Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said there is no need for Aquino to apologize.

“There is no need for him to say sorry if he believed that what they did is for the welfare of the people. What he should do is to respect the decision of the Supreme Court and there is no need to continue the DAP even if it is good for the people,” said Trillanes.

Both Osmeña and Trillanes ran for senator under President Aquino’s Liberal Party in the 2013 mid-term polls.

Four months ago, Osmeña slammed the Aquino administration for being lacking in substance and for having “non-performing assets” in the Cabinet.

He also criticized President Aquino for being an “awful manager” and warned him that he would lose his power to influence the 2016 national elections.

Still, Osmeña believed that the impeachment complaint filed against President Aquino in connection with the DAP would not prosper and he will finish his term until 2016.

“This is nothing, but this puts into serious question his credibility with the public,” Osmeña said.

Ahead of the President’s speech at 6 p.m., various leftist groups gathered at the Department of Budget and Management office to submit a “notice of dismissal” to Abad.

Also on Monday, members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan trooped to Plaza Miranda in Quiapo and Mendiola Bridge near Malacañang to protest the DAP even before Aquino began his speech. With Ma. Jerrylyn B. Damaso


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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