PNoy turns tables on SC: You did it too

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 23 2014 03:06 PM | Updated as of Jul 24 2014 01:33 AM

TANAUAN CITY, BATANGAS (UPDATE) - President Aquino again defended the disbursement acceleration program, citing examples where the Supreme Court also exercised "cross-border" transfer of funds.

Speaking at the 150th birth anniversary of hero Apolinario Mabini, Aquino took the opportunity to justify his adminitration's program recently declared unconstitutional by the high court.

He stressed that the Administrative Code served as the DAP's legal basis.

"Hindi naman naging bara-bara ang desisyon nating ipatupad ang DAP. Hindi ito gawa-gawa o imbento; may mga batas tayong pinagbatayan nito, pangunahin na nga po ang Administrative Code of 1987, na naniniwala tayong nakaayon naman sa ating Saligang Batas," Aquino said

"Bukod dito, naidiin pa ang paninindigan nating naaayon sa batas ang DAP, dahil ang mismong Korte Suprema ay sumang-ayon din sa ganitong klaseng mekanismo."

He then went on reiterating what the executive has pointed out in its motion for reconsideration to appeal the SC decision and cited two instances where he said the SC also practiced cross-border fund transfers.

He said that in July 2012, the Supreme Court allotted its savings of P1.865 billion to augment funds for construction of the Manila Hall of Justice, which is under the Department of Justice.

He added that the SC also later requested the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to transfer P100 million in funds under the DOJ's Justice Infrastructure Program intended for the Manila Hall of Justice for construction of the Malabon Hall of Justice.

The request was withdrawn in December 2013 after petitions were filed questioning the constitutionality of the DAP.

"Kung mapapansin po ninyo: Sa mga halimbawang ito, hindi nag-alok ang ehekutibo. Hindi po natin hinangad na makialam sa poder o tungkulin ng ibang sangay ng gobyerno; hindi kami humingi ng kapalit," he said.

"Ang tanong lang po para sa atin: Makakadulot ba ang mga ito ng benepisyo sa taumbayan? Kung makakatulong nga po, bakit naman ipagkakait ang pagkakataong mapabilis ang paghatid ng serbisyo sa ating mga boss?"

He also said the SC decision "redefining" the concept of "good faith" would have a "chilling effect" on public officials who would have to worry if the legal bases for their decisions would be reversed and would subject them to lawsuits later on.

"Paano ka ngayon kikilos, kung sa bawat galaw mo, iniisip mo kung makukulong ka dahil nga guilty until proven innocent na ang turing sa iyo? Ngayon, maghuhulaan pa ang ating mga kawani kung bukas-makalawa, ituturing na palang mali ang tamang ginawa nila," he said.

Aquino however acknowledged that the Supreme Court has the final say in legal questions but not without invoking Mabini's doctrines to justify DAP.

"Pagdating po sa batas, nasa Korte Suprema ang huling salita. Wala tayong balak na labagin ang kanilang mga pasya. Sa totoo nga po, sinunod natin hindi lamang ang pangunahing mga punto ng desisyon; kumilos din tayo nang may pagsasaalang-alang sa lahat ng opinyong nakapaloob po dito," he said.

"Gayumpaman, gaya nga po ng sinabi ni Gat Apolinario Mabini, anumang kapangyarihang hawak ng sinumang pinuno, saanmang sangay ng gobyerno, ay nagmumula sa taumbayan. Samakatuwid, kailangan nating igiit ang mga gawaing nakabubuti para sa ating mga boss."