DAP Oral Arguments Reset

Manila Bulletin, November 8, 2013 | Go to article overview

DAP Oral Arguments Reset


The Supreme Court (SC) reset from November 11 to November 19 the oral arguments on nine petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). SC Spokesman Theodore Te said the comment of the government on the 8th and 9th petitions filed by a group of government employees and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has yet to be filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Te said OSGs comment on the petition filed by the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) was expected Friday but Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno had to cancel work in all courts in Metro Manila starting at noon because of super typhoon Yolanda. Thus, he said, SC had to postpone the November 11 oral arguments and had to reset the debates to its original schedule on November 19 starting. Sources also said that some justices had requested the postponement to give them more time to study the two additional petitions filed against DAP. Represented by its chairman Dante Jimenez, VACC told the high court that the release of money from DAP is illegal since it was not validly enacted by the House of Representatives where all appropriation bills emanate. It said that DAP was created and implemented by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) without any law passed or enacted by Congress. "DAP is clearly not established by. Its funding is likewise not authorized by law. Its operation, maintenance and existence are not provided by law either," VACC said. It pointed out that the DAP is worse than Section 44 of the Budget Reform Act of 1977 that gave the late former President Ferdinand Marcos the authority to transfer any fund appropriated for the different departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the Executive Department which are included in the General Appropriations Act, to any program, project, or activity of any department, bureau or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment." It said the high court in 1987 had ruled Section 44 of the Budget Reform Act of 1977 as unacceptable blanket authority granted to the former President. "The Constitution prohibits the transfer of funds from one branch or department of government to another precisely to ensure and strengthen the separation of powers of the different branches of government, and the doctrine of check and balance," it stressed. VACC also pleaded for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) in its petition. Aside from VACC and Courage, the other petitioners against DAP are former Iloilo Rep. …

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