No contempt in Aquino speeches vs SC—Palace
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday said President Benigno Aquino III should not be cited for contempt for merely explaining the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“Ang pagtalakay ng Pangulo sa DAP ay ayon sa kanyang tungkulin na ipaliwanag sa kanyang mga boss na mga mamamayan ang konteksto at batayan ng nasabing programa,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a televised press briefing.
(The President’s discussion on the DAP is based on his task of explaining to his bosses, the people, the context and basis of the said program.)
He was responding to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ (IBP) statement that Aquino’s recent speeches assailing the Supreme Court decision on the DAP could be “subject of contemptuous proceedings” if he wasn’t president.
Coloma insisted that Aquino did not disrespect the high court.
During a forum on Monday, IBP president Vicente Joyas said the content of the President’s speeches could be considered indirect contempt.
Aquino has thrice assailed the SC ruling declaring DAP partly unconstitutional. The first was his televised national address last July 14, two weeks after the decision came out. The second was during a good governance forum in Malacañang and the third was on Wednesday during the 150th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini.
In the said speeches, Aquino repeatedly claimed that the DAP had solid legal basis and had benefited many Filipinos. He said the SC decision not only delays benefits but also results in a “chilling effect” on governance.
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