VP Binay: 'Innovative' reforms must still abide by Constitution

Posted at 07/26/14 3:46 PM

MANILA - Vice President Jejomar Binay stressed that while government may pursue "innovative" reforms, it should always ensure that these will not exceed the limits set by the Constitution.

"The Supreme Court (SC) ruling [on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)] teaches us that while we must pursue crucially innovative reforms in government processes, we must at all times insure that these never stray beyond the boundaries that our Constitution defines," Binay said during the turnover and induction ceremony of the Rotary Club of Makati Friday evening.

Binay's statement came after Budget Secretary Butch Abad defended the Aquino administration's DAP at the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday.

Abad told the Senate that the country did not become one of Asia's best performing economies by just playing it safe.

"We did not not become government pioneers in transparency and openness by playing it safe. We did all these through the bold and single-minded pursuit of innovation and reform under the leadership of President Aquino. But how can we now compel our public institutions to find inventive solutions to persistent problems when we stifle creativity?" Abad said.

Binay, however, stressed that the Constitution transcends any elected official and stands supreme.

"It is not an obstacle to progress but instead, safeguards our participation in the most important affairs of the nation," he said.

The high court has declared certain acts and practices under the DAP, including the cross-border transfer of funds, as unconstitutional.

But Malacañang has consistently insisted that there is nothing illegal in the implementation of the DAP, and that it helped spur the country's economic growth.

According to the vice president, he is joining the call to let the rule of law prevail.

"I also implore all of us to meet this moment with sobriety, resisting temptations to engage in speculation, and to permit our legal processes to take their course."

"If there is anything that the DAP decision should remind us of, it is that the journey towards full transparency and accountability requires everyone’s fullest participation and devotion, now and always," Binay said.