MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has deferred ruling on the 9 pending petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Aquino administration's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) during Tuesday's en banc session.
The consolidated petitions were calendared for deliberations, but no decision was arrived at.
ABS-CBN News sources bared the DAP petitions will again be tackled on July 1.
The consolidated petitions urge the high court to strike down the "stimulus program" as unconstitutional.
Petitioners allege that no law was enacted by Congress to authorize the appropriation of funds under the DAP, which was created by Malacanan in October 2011.
Petitioners also pointed out that the DAP is illegal for allowing transfer of funds from the Executive to the Legislative branches, again, in violation of the Constitution which only allows realignment of funds and savings within a particular agency or department.
BAYAN DISMAYED AT DELAY
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), one of the petitioners, expressed dismay at the "delay" in the DAP ruling, and expressed fears there may be moves to influence the magistrates to rule in favor of the controversial measure.
"Bilang petitioner, dismayado kami na hanggang ngayon ay wala pang desisyon sa DAP. Napapanahon nang resolbahin ang mga petisyon lalo't mainit na usapin ng pork barrel."
"Habang tumatagal, nagkakaroon kami ng pangamba sa kung anong maaaring gawin ng Palasyo (Malacanang) para makaimpluwensiya sa korte. Patuloy kaming magbabantay. Isasama din ito sa panawagan sa June 12 (anti-pork barrel) rally," Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes. Jr. said.
Some P149 billion in public funds were released under the DAP until it was aborted in mid-2013.
The DAP was reportedly used to secure the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial, an allegation Malacanang denies.