President can revive DAP via another name - lawyer
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Supreme Court unanimously declared several acts under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.
In a press conference, SC spokesman Theodore Te said the full court “partially granted” the petitions of several stakeholders insofar as the meat of the DAP is concerned.
Nine petitions were earlier filed against the DAP, which some believe was a form of presidential pork.
The high court declared the following acts and practices under the DAP as unconstitutional:
a) The withdrawal of unobligated allotment from the implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of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 Appropriation Acts
b) The cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive
c) Funding of projects and activities and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA
The Supreme 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 for noncompliance with the conditions provided by the GAA.
As it stands now, the meat of the petitions were granted by the SC, lawyer Raymond Fortun told ABS-CBNnews.com.
In a text message, Fortun noted, however, that “the SC did not categorically declare DAP as unconstitutional because the President does have the power to make fund transfers so long as they find Constitutional restrictions.”
This means the Palace can always revive the DAP, in some other form or name.
“For as long as the SC has made clear on what acts are violative of the Constitution,” he added.
Malacanang already said the DAP is dead.
The discretionary fund earlier hit the headlines when Senator Jinggoy Estrada bared that several senators received some P50 million to P100 million supposedly in exchange for voting to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Estrada had questioned the “persecution” he has received for allegedly diverting his pork barrel, the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), to bogus nongovernment organizations.
The PDAF, which was also a discretionary fund, has since been declared unconstitutional by the SC.
Malacanang, through the Department of Budget and Management, denied the DAP was used to bribe the senators.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the DAP funds were realigned savings meant to spur government spending.