MANILA, Philippines—The reallocation of funds through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) might be unconstitutional but Bayan Muna is not yet sure if it will support an impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino III based on this.
“We believe it’s unconstitutional but we have yet to study the legal and political grounds, including whether it rises to the level of culpable violation,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares in a text message to the Inquirer.
An impeachable officer like the President would be culpable for violation of the Constitution if he or she willfully violated the country’s charter and does not include acts done unintentionally or through an honest mistake or misjudgment, he added.
Colmenares said legal challenges to the constitutionality of the DAP (including Bayan Muna’s petition) as well as mass actions and the people’s initiative proposed by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno to abolish the pork barrel should provide sufficient outlet for the public to vent their ire against the continuation of discretionary funds in the budget both for Congress and the Executive.
Colmenares said the main question against the DAP was the source of its funding. “How could the government realize savings if the project is incomplete? Savings can only be generated after completing or abandoning it… The Constitution is very strict. They missed out on the first sentence which says “No law shall be passed realigning the budget.”