Heads should roll for illegal DAP

Editorial
The Daily Tribune

Daily-Tribune-DAP-ruling-cartoonThe spin from the Palace, aided by the yellow media, was that the Supreme Court (SC) declared unconstitutional only certain acts under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which spin is both an effort at face-saving and neck-saving for Noynoy.

Accordingly, as a result of the absence of the entire SC ruling, the yellow spin was that only the following schemes under the DAP were declared unconstitutional:

• The withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of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

• Cross-border transfers of savings of the executive department to offices outside the Executive Department; and
• Funding of projects, activities, programs not covered by appropriations in the General Appropriations Act.

The court also declared void the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets or non-compliance with the conditions provided in the relevant General Appropriations Act.

The DAP was accordingly illegal but done in “good faith” based on the Palace spin.

The three unconstitutional acts which the Palace wanted the public to believe are mere portions of the DAP was exactly what the presidential pork barrel was all about.

Some P150 billion in public funds in the past three years, from 2011 to 2013, was channeled to the DAP, which was done exactly through the first two items that the SC declared as unconstitutional.

The third item was self explanatory but which Noynoy and his Budget Secretary Butch Abad conveniently ignored in creating the DAP.

Stressing the point on its creation as imbued with good faith seeks to provide the Palace an escape clause on the invalidity of its action in putting up the DAP.

The SC’s ruling against the constitutionality of the DAP is not based on the limited issue of the legality of the provisions on its creation but taken with an earlier PDAF ruling, which was part of a broad statement against the existence of discretionary or lump sum funds in the budget or out of it.

The P24 billion annual PDAF was a mere part of the huge Special Purpose Funds (SPF) which in turn is just one of the many lump sums that makes up as much as a third of the yearly budget or P1 trillion of which Noynoy has granted himself full authority to dispose.

The ruling was also consistent with the growing public clamor for the removal of all types of lump sum items in the budget, which is a call that Noynoy has vehemently rejected.

Noynoy has even defended the PDAF as necessary saying that the illegal use of it by targeted Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. should be the sole focus of the protest movement.

The budget is the most important yearly legislation that validates the sole authority vested in Congress to appropriate public funds.

The SC’s invalidation of the DAP restored the dignity of the budget law and there is no good faith that can be found in the creation of the DAP.

Its only purpose was to give Noynoy and the Liberal Party (LP) funds which they used as leverage with members of Congress.
The DAP’s sinister character can’t be overemphasized in that it came to public attention only after Estrada had divulged that P50 million was distributed to each senator judge who voted to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona in the impeachment court that resulted in his ouster.

He didn’t even know that other colleagues got P100 million, especially his colleagues who to this day, try to portray themselves as cleaner than clean.

Noynoy since the start of his term had not hidden his intent to remove Corona and replace him with an appointee.

The way the Palace used DAP was not anything related to “good faith.”

DAP is unconstitutional and Noynoy and Abad should answer for the transgression.


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