MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court refused anew to comment on the latest tirades of President Benigno Aquino III, who accused the high court of double standard in its interpretation of discretionary fund.
“As the President himself has said in his speech, the matters he discussed are all in the motion for reconsideration (MR) filed by the government, the Supreme Court will address all matters raised in the various MRs when it renders its resolution on the MRs,” Information Chief Theodore Te said in a text message to reporters Wednesday.
Aquino on Wednesday morning said the high tribunal also tried to transfer its funds to another government agency when it issued a resolution funneling some P1.8 billion from its savings in July 2012 for the construction of the Manila Hall of Justice. The budget for construction was supposed to come from the Department of Justice.
The President added Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno had requested the Executive to allot P100 million for the construction of the Malabon Hall of Justice in 2013 although it was not in the General Appropriations Act. Sereno, Aquino said, withdrew the request after the Supreme Court was flooded with petitions against the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Malacañang insisted that the DAP was an economic stimulus program meant to accelerate public spending and that it neither violate the Constitution nor usurp Congress’ power of the purse.
But the high court in its decision said the acts and practices under the DAP violated the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and the provision prohibiting inter-branch transfer of funds.
The high court also struck down the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from implementing agencies and their use as savings prior to end of fiscal year, cross-border transfers of savings of the executive to augment funds of agencies outside the department and funding of projects and programs not covered by the General Appropriations Act.
Aside from Malacañang, a group of petitioners led by former Manila City Councilor Greco Belgica filed a motion for partial reconsideration of the high tribunal’s ruling asking that it issue a definitive ruling to declare as unconstitutional and illegal DAP expenditures used for programs, activities and projects (PAPs) not deemed deficient.
Aquino turns tables on SC, says it implemented DAP-like measure