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Gov't to appeal DAP decision today.

After everything that has been said, the government will appeal the decision of the Supreme Court that declared as unconstitutional certain provisions of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the motion for reconsideration would contain "all the salient arguments being put forward by the executive branch in asking the magistrates to revisit the legal issues."

"According to the rules of court, (we have) 15 days from date of receipt which is reckoned as of July 4, to July 19," Coloma said in a Palace briefing.

And recognizing that President Aquino is not above the law, MalacaAaAaAeA~a said it will respect the final decision of the High Court on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

"We are a government of laws and not of men. Of course we will accept the decision like the acceptance of previous SC decisions that happened during the administration," he added.

Last Monday, the President went on national television challenging the SC decision against the administration's fiscal stimulus program. Insisting that DAP is "good" and legal, Aquino said govt was appealing the Tribunal's unanimous decision.

LAW ABIDER

On Tuesday, the President used a good governance forum in the Palace to express his fears that setting aside DAP would disrupt the country's economic growth.

Coloma has rejected accusations by some groups that Aquino was being defiant or arrogant by belligerently defending the DAP despite the SC ruling.

He explained that the President was abiding by the rule of law by appealing the High Court's decision.

"There may be interpretations on how they may have viewed the President's demeanor. Some said he was defiant or arrogant but for us, there was neither defiance nor arrogance just compliance with judicial due process," Coloma said.

On the President's allusion to a potential clash with the Supreme Court over DAP, Coloma made clear that the President was not necessarily threatening or warning the High Tribunal.

"Unavoidably, there will be points of friction and points of conflict but this is part of legal processes," he explained.

Asked to elaborate President Aquino's allusion to the High Court's alleged past misdeed in his DAP speech, Coloma said: "It is inappropriate to fan further speculations on this at this time."

Coloma also said they recognize the different views on DAP by various law experts and other groups as part of the country's healthy democracy.

SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET

For now, he said the government's focus is to prepare the motion for reconsideration of the DAP ruling.

The executive branch is likewise preparing to file a supplemental budget to cover pending projects funded by DAP, according to Coloma.

"We are now in the process of getting updates from the different departments on the status of these projects and we will include that in the proposal for a supplemental budget and this would serve as an update to the list initially presented by DBM (Department of Budget and Management) in the spirit of accountability," he said.

If there is any misuse or abuse of the public funds, Coloma assured there will be accountability. He noted that the funds to implement DAP projects were coursed through implementing agencies.

In deference to the SC decision, Aquino ordered the suspension of the DAP-funded projects

The budget department has already released a list of 116 DAP-identified projects amounting to P167 billion. Only P144 billion has been released by the DBM to fund these projects that included a P17-billion allocation for "various local projects" proposed by lawmakers and local officials.

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jul 18, 2014
Words:585
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