No-el depends on ruling on DAP: Tiangco

Posted at 08/26/14 1:36 PM

MANILA - A no election (no-el) scenario will depend on the Supreme Court’s final decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Secretary General Toby Tiangco said Tuesday.

In an interview with ANC, Tiangco said a no-el is possible “depending on how much they are scared of the DAP, how the SC will rule on the DAP.”

He said Aquino’s allies are “scared” of facing liabilities in case the high court rules definitely on the unconstitutionality of the acts under the DAP. “This is why they are pushing Aquino to the front," he said.

Over the past few couple of weeks, talks of Charter change to extend the term limit of the president hogged the headlines.

In an interview with reporters last week, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda stirred up speculations of a no-el scenario in 2016.

“Let’s wait for the endorsement of the President kung sino ang kanyang kandidato sa 2016 kung sakaling itutuloy ang 2016 elections,” Lacierda had said.

He then issued a retraction later in the day, saying: “The President has neither decided on term extension nor endorsing a candidate. In both instances, 2016 elections will push through.”

Tiangco said the statement of Lacierda is conflicting.

He added “I think [the whole context] is a message to the SC: ‘Kung akala nyo mawawala na kami, may posibilidad na lalagpas pa ang termino.”

He said that from the very start, the administration already wanted to control the SC.

“[Ousted] Chief Justice Renato Corona was just a collateral damage. Now, even Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, they want to impeach,” Tiangco added.

There is also the controversial Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund (MPBF) previously, he said. The MPBF is a lump sum of unspent appropriations for unfilled positions. This was heavily criticized since it allegedly forms part of the president’s pork barrel.

“[Now] Aquino even mentioned the power of judicial review of the SC, which he said he is concerned about,” Tiangco noted.

This is also the context as to why the no-el statement of Lacierda was not just a mere slip of the tongue, he added.

“It’s just a mere statement, not unless you look into the whole picture,” he said.

Tiangco added he also does not buy the defense of deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte that Lacierda was not fluent in Filipino that is why he made a mistake.

“Every time they defend the president, they only put him in a bad light. Does that mean Aquino got a spokesman who is not even proficient in Filipino, our national language?”