MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/15 July) – Lawmakers belonging to the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives called President Aquino’s speech Monday in defense of the Disbursement Acceleration Program a declaration of war on the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, ruling on several petitions, declared the DAP unconstitutional for violating Section 25 (5) Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers. It said Malacanang usurped Congress’ powers to appropriate funds and used funds for projects that were not in the General Appropriations Act.
“President Aquino is creating his demise in his continuous defense of the DAP and his DAP conspirator, Budget Secretary Butch Abad. He is fueling the people’s disgust and may very well be asking to be impeached or even ousted by refusing to take accountability for his illegal disbursements under DAP,” Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan said in a statement.
Ilagan added Aquino’s defense of the DAP was also a declaration of war on Filipino people calling for accountability and transparency.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is clear. President Aquino seized control of public funds and appropriated them to projects according to his personal discretion, usurping the powers of Congress to determine government spending and creating a fiscal dictatorship in the process. There is no way that the President can escape accountability,” she said.
For her part, fellow Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus refuted Aquino’s claims the DAP projects benefited the people.
“Aquino claims that DAP funded electrification projects and created classrooms but we are now struggling with rotating brownouts, and children remain cramped in overcrowded classrooms,” de Jesus said.
In a separate statement, Bayan Muna Rep.Neri Colmenares also called Aquino’s speech a declaration of war on the high court.
“His use of Section 39 of the 1987 Administration Code is not even right because the section pertains to savings. The Supreme Court said that DAP was not savings therefore Section 39 does not apply. Also a mere administration code cannot trump the Constitution,” Colmenares pointed out.
“The Supreme Court was right in declaring the DAP unconstitutional and it should uphold its decision even if Malacanang files a motion for reconsideration. It is through the DAP that Pres. Aquino usurped the power of Congress and it transformed the budget into his presidential pork. DAP is pork barrel and it must be abolished,” he said.
Anakbayan likewise hit Aquino for allegedly belittling the people’s capacity to understand the DAP issue.
It said the administration claimed good faith but used amounts from the DAP to bribe lawmakers to impeach former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
It added that P2 billion went to Tarlac, Aquino’s home province, and P425 million to Janet Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the pork barrel fund scam. (MindaNews)