MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) ordered the 9 petitioners in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to comment on the appeal of the Aquino administration, paving the way for another round of arguments on the matter.
In numerous instances in the past, the high court had denied the motions for reconsideration of parties without giving the winning party the chance to comment anymore.
The court ruled 13-0 declaring unconstitutional the DAP, which legal pundits say would be hard to overturn.
The court also previously heard on oral arguments the merits of the DAP before coming out with a ruling.
SC spokesman Theodore Te said the following groups were given 10 days upon receipt of order to file their respective answers:
+ the group of former Manila Councilor Greco Belgica, former Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco, lawyers Jose Malvar Villegas Jr. and Manuelito Luna;
+ Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa);
+ Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP);
+ the group of Bayan Muna, Kabataan and Gabriela party-list groups;
+ Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage); and,
+ the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
The government, via the Office of the Solicitor General, filed on Friday its motion for reconsideration.
Malacanang, in its MR, said the SC had also exercised cross-border transfer of funds. This was one of the acts struck down in the DAP.
President Benigno Aquino III earlier issued a veiled threat against the SC, which, he said, erred in deciding the DAP.
“My message to the Supreme Court: We do not want two equal branches of government to go head to head, needing a third branch to step in to intervene. We find it difficult to understand your decision. You had done something similar in the past, and you tried to do it again; there are even those of the opinion that what you attempted to commit was far graver,” Aquino said.