TIGLAO: NO WRITTEN ORDER FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF DAP / PALACE WON'T CONFIRM OR DENY TIGLAO'S REPORT
FORMER AMBASSADOR TIGLAO: His Excellency Rigoberto D. Tiglao was appointed in October 2005 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Hellenic Republic and to the Republic of Cyprus. He assumed his post in Athens in May 2006 presenting his credentials to Greek President, His Excellency Karolos Papoulias in June, and to Cyprus President, His Excellency Tassos Papadopoulos in September. He first joined government in April 2001 as Presidential Spokesperson with Cabinet rank and then on a concurrent capacity, as Press Secretary. President Arroyo appointed him as the Head of the Presidential Management Staff in August 2004. Educated at the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines, Ambassador Tiglao has a 19-year experience in journalism as a reporter, columnist, and editor in local publications. He was also the Manila Bureau Chief for the international magazine Far Eastern Economic Review. He won four of the most prestigious awards in local and international journalism. He has authored or co-authored six books dealing with Philippine economy and politics. ### -RDT- http://www.athenspe.net/
MANILA, NOVEMBER 11, 2013 (MANILA TIMES) Aquino played it safe: No written order on DAP.
President Aquino has been pig-headedly defending his so-called Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP), despite the snowballing outrage against it, despite the consensus among constitutional experts that it is patently illegal, since it essentially throws to the dustbin Congress’ budget laws.
However, it seems that Aquino—or his closest legal advisers—wasn’t so sure himself.
He played it safe to shield himself from an impeachment move that could arise from such blatant violation of the Constitution:
Aquino had not issued any written authorization to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to undertake the DAP whether in the form of an executive order, memorandum, memorandum circular, or even a marginal note.
This is despite the fact that funds hijacked for it represented a huge chunk of government spending, totaling, according to official administration figures, P158 billion: P84 billion in 2011, P59 billion in 2012, and so far this year P15 billion.
The only documentation on the controversial DAP: What directive? Verbal?
The only documentation on the controversial DAP: What directive? Verbal?
I made an exhaustive search in official government websites, that at the www.gov.ph, (which has been transformed into the government’s Official Gazette, making it the repository of all official documents originating from the Office of the President) and that of the budget and management department. I could find no document coming from the President ordering Abad to set up the DAP.
How could such an important executive action not be covered by any written order?
Exasperated, I called several of my sources in government. I was told in various, but terse ways: “There is none.”
Only press releases
What passes off as “documentation” for the DAP were the press releases by the DBM and a “Q&A on the Disbursement Acceleration Program”, which were posted at Malacañang’s website.
The DBM press statements were purportedly released on October 12, 2011 entitled “Aquino government pursues P72.11-B disbursement acceleration plan”; on December 13, 2011, “85% of P72-B disbursement acceleration plan already released”; and on January 9, 2012, “96% of P72.11-B disbursement acceleration already released, 77.5% disbursed”.
Lastly, and only released last month after the controversy broke out, is a “Q& A on the Disbursement Acceleration Program”.
Very significant in the three press releases by the DBM is that these do not refer to any documented Aquino directive ordering the setting up of the DAP, but portrayed it as merely the budget department’s initiative.
An Aquino order on the DAP is mentioned only in the “Q & A”: “The DAP was approved by the President on October 12, 2011.” However, while it provided links to the DBM press releases and to a lengthy legal brief defending the DAP, it did not post any written order by Aquino on the DAP. How did he approve it? Just verbally?
But how could the DBM defy Congress by changing the appropriations it ordered, without any documentation?
Only a single document for DAP
There is only one official document ordering the DAP: Budget Secretary Abad’s National Budget Circular No. 541 of July 18, 2012. Strangely though, it did not use the term “Disbursement Acceleration Plan” and was even innocuously titled “Adoption of Operational Efficiency Measure—Withdrawal of Agencies Unobligated Allotments as of June 30, 2012.”
In fact, neither Aquino nor Abad, after the January 2012 press release, would mention again or refer to the DAP, as if it wanted it forgotten. They did so only in September 2013, in their reply to a Senator Jinggoy Estrada speech that mentioned it as the source of bribe money for the Senate to remove Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The circular described the DAP’s justification and aims.
“For the first five months of 2012, the National government has not met its spending targets. In order to accelerate spending and sustain the fiscal targets during the year, expenditure measures have to be implemented..”
In order to speed up expenditures, the circular noted, “the President per directive issued June 27, 2012 authorized the withdrawal of unobligated allotments of agencies with low levels of obligations as of June 30, 2012..”
The circular meant that budgets for 2012 for government entities that had not been used (“unobligated”) as of June 30, 2012 would be withdrawn. The DBM will then use these funds (according to the order’s item 5.7) “to augment existing programs and projects of any agency and to fund priority programs and projects not considered in the 2012 budget..”
(Emphasis in the circular itself, not mine.)
Order didn’t make sense
The order didn’t make sense: What was rationally programmed by an agency to be used for the second half of the year was deemed as, due to its inefficiency, and the funds for the rest of the year, confiscated.
(I could not find any similar documentation authorizing the P84 billion hijacked for the DAP in 2011. Abad apparently simply directed his agency to use for projects identified as under the DAP the P30 billion unused 2011 budget for personal services, P22 billion unused appropriations in 2010, and P12 billion of profits of state firms. These are patently illegal however, as there is no ambiguity in budget laws that these funds should have been reverted to the General Fund, the use of which is determined by Congress every year through its appropriations law. )
The order actually shocked many government officials and the DBM bureaucracy—that funds unused at the middle of the year were impounded. Suddenly, projects clearly authorized by the 2012 Appropriations Law were cancelled. Reckless and profligate agencies that used their whole-year’s budget by the middle of the year were in effect awarded.
But for such a game-changing order, Abad did not “annex” in his memorandum the presidential directive authorizing such confiscation. Was it just verbal?
And which is which? Did Aquino authorize—even just verbally—the DAP on October 12, 2011 as the “Q & A” had claimed, or was it on June 27, 2012, according to the circular? Or was Abad just lying that Aquino issued a written order that he gave different dates?
Preposterous: no written directive
That Aquino didn’t issue a written order is preposterous, as our entire presidential system is built on a mountain of documents, so there would be accountability, so there would be no ambiguity in a President’s decisions and orders.
But Aquino may have thought he was clever in not issuing any written order on the DAP, thinking that this would clear him from impeachment if ever—as it has come to pass, quite accidentally—its unconstitutional features are exposed.
It’s another nail though on his DAP’s coffin. Even if one assumes that the DAP is constitutional when it changed the budget allocations from those authorized by Congress, and merely realigned these, the Constitution very categorically says that only the President (or the heads of the other branches of government and the constitutional commissions) can do so.
But it turns out now that Aquino never ordered it—at least in the way that a President issues orders, which is in written, documented form. Only Abad did in his National Budget Circular No. 541 did.
Once the Supreme Court rules his DAP unconstitutional, Abad will likely be Aquino’s scapegoat. The President will claim that his budget secretary didn’t understand him, or misheard his verbal go-ahead to accelerate government spending to stimulate the economy.
If that happens, I wonder if Abad again be leading what would be Hyatt 10, Part II.
Palace won’t confirm or deny Tiglao report November 6, 2013 9:37 pm
by CATHERINE S. VALENTE REPORTER
Malacañang neither confirmed nor denied a report that President Benigno Aquino 3rd did not issue any written authorization for the implementation of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
In his column in The Manila Times on Wednesday, former Ambassador Rigoberto Tiglao said Aquino did not issue an executive order, memorandum, or even a marginal note authorizing Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to implement the disbursement scheme, despite the fact that funds for it totaled P158 billion.
“How could such an important executive action not be covered by any written order? Exasperated, I called several of my sources in government. I was told in various, but terse ways: “There is none,” Tiglao said in his column.
“What passes off as “documentation” for the DAP were the press releases by the DBM and a “Q&A on the Disbursement Acceleration Program”, which were posted at Malacañang’s website,” he added.
Asked to comment, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. admitted that any “executive action” must be accompanied by documentation as part of the requirements of the law. However, when asked for a copy of Aquino’s written order, Coloma said that it is better to ask the “concerned government agencies” if there are documents coming from the President ordering Abad to set up the DAP.
“I am unable to respond. Masyadong detalyado (It is too detailed). It is not easy for me to relate habang nandito ako at hindi ko nakikita. We can discuss that if further clarification is needed,” Coloma told The Times.
The Times tried to reach the Budget Secretary and other Palace officials but received no response.
Coloma however argued that the creation of DAP is allowed under the law.
”Everything that was done involving DAP is within the bounds of the Constitution and other existing laws that are applicable,” he said.
Abad earlier said that P137.3 billion has been released for DAP as of October 1, 2013. The amount includes P82.5 billion released in 2011 and P54.8 billion in 2012.
In a televised address to the nation, President Aquino challenged the public to discern whether it was wrong to realign government funds for infrastructure projects that sped up economic growth and have “real, tangible benefit to Filipinos.”
He said there had been no irregularities in the implementation of DAP projects, some of which were endorsed by lawmakers.
Malacañang has been preparing President Aquino’s tour to the provinces to explain the DAP to the people.
”We reiterate government’s willingness to conduct continuing dialogues with our people and especially in the regions and provinces to ensure adequate understanding of the issues that will enable them to make correct choices and decisions in matters affecting their communities and the country’s future,” Coloma said.
He refused to give details on how the dialogues will be conducted, saying only that they are part of the “continuing process” of the government “to reach out and inform our people of the issues that are confronting our nation.”
The Honorable Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr.
Secretary, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO III
Doctor of Philosophy, 2009, Southeast Asian Inter-Disciplinary Development Institute, Philippines
Master in Business Management, 1978, Asian Institute of Management, Philippines
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, 1973, University of Philippines, Philippines
August 2010 – present Secretary, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Republic of the Philippines
Supervises all major government public communication and mass media organizations, including Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Broadcast Service, Government Television Network, Philippine News Agency and National Printing Office
Responsible for linking Office of the President with all private mass media organizations
June 1988 – present, Professor, Asian Institute of Management; Makati City, Philippines (currently on work leave)
Professor; also previously served in concurrent administrative capacity as Dean of the Executive Education and Lifelong Learning Center (2000-2004); Associate Dean of MBA Program (1994-1996); Program Director of Master in Development Management Program (1989-1990)
2004 – 2008 Division President and Group Chief Learning Officer, Transnational Diversified Group, Manila, Philippines
1996 – 2008 Director, Transnational Diversified Group
Profit center responsibility for eight (8) operating companies in Air & Travel Division; Group Chief Learning Officer oversees implementation of management development programs for 35 major operating companies in conglomerate
2005 – present, Director, Loyola Plans Consolidated, Inc., Makati City, Philippines
1990-1991 Head of the Presidential Management Staff, Office of the President of the Philippines, Malacañang, Manila, Philippines [The Presidency of Corazon C. Aquino spanned for six years from February 25, 1986 to June 30, 1992.]
Served as Cabinet Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary; prepared reference materials for President of the Philippines and members of her Cabinet on topics taken up in high-level policy meetings; coordinated the President’s official appointments; performed high-level staff work for President
1998-2000 Undersecretary, Dept. of Transportation and Communications, Government of the Republic of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines
Oversight and executive responsibilities for water transportation sector including the following attached agencies; Philippine Ports Authority, Maritime Industry Authority and Philippine Coast guard; served as Head of Delegation to the biennial meetings of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, England, UK; also served as Undersecretary for finance and administration in a concurrent capacity
1989-1991 Undersecretary, Dept. of Transportation and Communications, Government of the Republic of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines
Oversight and executive responsibilities for land transportation sector including the following attached agencies: Land Transportation Office, Light Rail Transport Authority, Philippine National Railways, Metro Manila Transport Corporation
1982-1988 Vice President, Far East Bank and Trust Company, Manila, Philippines
Executive responsibility for corporate planning, corporate public communication, human resource management and organization development
Management Consultant, Various Organizations (all in Manila, Philippines)
Strategic Planning & Annual Business Planning
Land Bank of the Philippines (1992-1998) Philippine National Bank (2007) Price Waterhouse Coopers (1991-2000) Inter-Modal transport Development
Asian Development Bank (2005-2006) Entrepreneurship & SME Development
USAID (1990) Telecommunications Development
Canadian International Development Agency (circa 1995) PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:
Governor, Rotary International (1998-1999) President, People Management Association of the Philippines (1988) Chairman, Federation of AIM Alumni Association (1987-1988) Elected member of the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society, 1973 HONORS:
AIM Alumni Achievement Award, 2004 PUBLICATIONS:
Weekly column for Business World, the leading Filipino business newspaper, for over twenty years (from July 1987 to present) PERSONAL BACKGROUND
Born in Quezon City, Philippines on 28 March 1953. Married to the former Nennette Parreno with whom he has a daughter, Anna Francesca.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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