MANILA, Philippines- The Philippine Constitution Association together with former University of the Philippines Law Dean Froilan Bacungan and former National Treasurer Leonor Briones Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to compel the Dept. of Budget and Management to identify all the recipients of the Disbursement Acceleration Program and order seizure of recipients’ assets acquired thru DAP.
In a petition, aside from asking the SC to stop DAP’s implementation, they also asked the SC to order the Department of Justice to proceed with the recovery of government funds disbursed in the form of DAP and the National Bureau of Investigation, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police to proceed with the seizure of assets of DAP recipients.
“It is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court in the exercise of its legal and equity jurisdiction that a judgment be rendered..ordering and directing the NBI and/or Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and/or Director General of the Philippine National Police to seize the funds, assets or properties acquired thru the use of the DAP funds and turn over the same to the National Treasurer,” the petitioners said.
They pointed out that DAP, while similar in nature to the Priority Development Assistance Fund is implemented as a law but was created only by the DBM, not Congress as required by law.
“DAP is not a law. DAP is funded by DBM from unspecified or tainted sources, not approved by Congress,” they said.
Meanwhile, Jose Malvar Villegas, Jr., through counsel Raymond Fortun, in a supplemental petition said he tried looking for laws that would justify the creation of DAP but there was nothing.
Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad explained that DAP is to be used for relocation of families living in dangerous areas, equity infusion under the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, landowner’s compensation under the Department of Agrarian Reform, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao comprehensive peace and development program, tourism and public works program.
However, Villegas said why were senators, particularly those who voted to convict former Chief Justice Renato C. Corona given “incentives” from DAP.
“DAP is no different from PDAF or the Malampaya Fund…this is likewise unconstitutional in the same manner that the PDAF and Malampaya Fund are in violation of the constitutional provisions and must be accordingly struck down,” the petition said.
There are now four petitions asking the SC to strike down as illegal the DAP.
The SC Tuesday set the oral arguments on DAP on Oct. 22, 2013 at 2 p.m. (Perfecto Raymundo/PNA)