SC asked to issue gag order vs Aquino, Palace execs on DAP | Inquirer News

SC asked to issue gag order vs Aquino, Palace execs on DAP

/ 03:50 PM November 06, 2013

President Benigno Aquino III INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Former Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco Jr. on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to stop President Benigno Aquino III and his alter-egos from further discussing and defending in public the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

“I most respectfully beg the indulgence of the Honorable Supreme Court to issue a gag order enjoining the respondents, the President of the republic of the Philippines and every person acting in his behalf from making statements, disclosures and declarations pertaining to matters involving DAP that is pending before this Honorable Supreme Court to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice,” Syjuco said.

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In his 21-page manifestation with motion for issuance of gag order, Syjuco said Aquino’s speech on DAP last October 30 has prejudged the issue and tends to influence the court.

“His speech constituted a very contumacious act of impressing a hint to the Supreme Court. In effect, he was subtly exerting pressure on the Supreme Court. Clearly, his speech was not only intended for the general public but also for the Supreme Court,” Syjuco said in his motion.

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Syjuco’s motion for gag order, however, does not cover the press.

Aquino, in his speech challenged the public to discern whether it has been wrong to re-align government funds for infrastructure projects that sped up economic growth and have “real, tangible benefit to Filipinos.”

He also said that there had been no irregularities in the implementation of DAP projects, some of which were endorsed by lawmakers. Malacañang has been preparing for Aquino’s tour to the provinces to fully explain the DAP.

But petitioners argued that DAP is illegal because it did not originate from Congress and the so-called “savings” were not taken from finished or abandoned projects.

Syjuco also asked the SC to require Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to appear in the oral argument and provide the justices and petitioners by Friday copies of the documents regarding the legality and implementation of DAP from late 2011 to present.

Abad earlier stated that P137.3 billion has been released for DAP as of October 1, 2013.  The amount includes P82.5 billion released in 2011 and P54.8 billion in 2012.

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TAGS: Augusto Syjuco Jr., Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, DAP, Disbursement Acceleration Program, Government, Graft and Corruption, Judiciary, Supreme Court
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