MANILA - Government employees represented by the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage), filed with the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday the 8th petition against the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The petition, with a prayer for the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO), told the high court that "as taxpayers, government employees and leaders of their respective unions, there is an urgent need to declare the DAP unconstitutional to prevent the same from further causing damages and disadvantages for the state workers."
Courage pointed out that the DAP should be declared unconstitutional by the high court since Congress did not pass any appropriation law creating the stimulus program, and the General Appropriation Act (GAA) for 2011, 2012, and 2013 made no mention of the DAP.
"As provided in the 1987 Constitution, Congress along can authorize the expenditure of public funds through its power to appropriate.'
"The power granted to Congress to appropriate carries with it the power to specify not just the amount that may be spent but also the purpose for which it may be spent," the petition read.
The petition also questioned Malacanan's position that funds released through the DAP are derived from "savings."
"There can be no savings before the end of the fiscal year for which appropriations were made by Congress, otherwise that would be tantamount to a presidential amendment of the appropriations law or vetoing an item in the GAA unilaterally without Congress the opportunity to override that veto," the petition read.
"This instant petition is supported not just by the unions affiliated with Courage nationwide. We wanted to include as many unions as possible represented by their leaders but we are already pressed for time as the Supreme Court has already set the oral arguments by November 11," Courage 1st vice-president Santiago Dasmarinas, Jr. said.
The high court has set on November 11 the oral arguments on the consolidated petitions assailing the constitutionality of the DAP.