Manila Times report: Supreme Court will declare DAP as unconstitutional; President Aquino and Abad violated constitution

The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) will be declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, a report by the Manila Times said.

According to the report, “at least nine out of the 13 justices manifested their intention to declare DAP illegal.” This was after a soft voting was held by the magistrates on Tuesday last week with the en banc agreeing in principle that “DAP is unconstitutional because funds were transferred from one branch of government to another.”

It also cited the possibility that the justices will find President Benigno Aquino III and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad guilty of violating the constitution because of the creation and implementation of the DAP.

“A consensus was already made by the justice—DAP is unconstitutional. Two violations were committed by [the President] and Abad: first, there are no savings to begin with, and second, if there are such savings, [the] cross-border of money savings is not allowed,” a source of the Manila Times at the Supreme Court reportedly said.

The DAP, which is purported to be the President’s pork barrel, was implemented on October 2011 as a source of fund for high-impact programs and projects that will be sourced from the supposed savings generated during the year. Only the President has the power to disburse the said fund.

However, the report clarified that the official ruling of the Supreme Court will come out on the first week of July, after the justices have submitted their opinions.

Just last week, court spokesman Theodore Te said that the high court does not have any decision yet on the DAP.

Malacanang has since called on the Supreme Court to dismiss the DAP petitions saying that it is moot and academic because it has not been used since last year.

Different petitions to the Supreme Court to declare DAP as unconstitutional were filed by the Makabayan bloc – the coalition of progressive party lists in Congress, Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).