After the Supreme Court finally declared certain provisions or specific acts of the DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) as unconstitutional today, July 1, progressive lawmakers announced that they are planning to file an impeachment complaint against Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. In a statement, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said the next step would be to ensure that President Benigno Aquino III and Budget Sec. Florencio Abad will be held accountable for having invented and abused the said fiscal program.
Given the supposed numbers of Aquino allies in Congress and the all-powerful sway of pork barrel that continues to exist in public funds, impeaching Aquino is “a daunting task,” Rep. Ridon admitted. But, he said, they are prepared to fight, anyway.
Rep. Ridon said the Supreme Court’s ruling on DAP is a “solid ground” for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, both of which are impeachable offenses. “It will greatly bolster the case against President Aquino,” the lawmaker said.
Meanwhile, the progressive peoples’ organizations, including the Kabataan Partylist, continue to urge the public to join protest actions not just against DAP, but against the entire pork barrel system of which DAP is just one of the bigger slices.
Since the Aquino administration reinvented in October 2011 the DAP that was first coined under the Marcos dictatorship, the Aquino administration has disbursed a total of P142.23 billion DAP in 2011 and 2012, according to Bayan Metro Manila and #ScrapThePork Alliance.
Aquino stopped the implementation of the DAP in 2013 following public outrage over the pork barrel system, but officially, their stated reason for stopping it was that they have achieved the desired progress aimed in the “acceleration” of fund disbursement.
The DAP came under fire last year after several opposition senators revealed these funds were used as “incentives” for legislators who supported the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
Despite the Aquino government’s withdrawal of DAP, followed by the filing of a counter-petition in the Supreme Court asking it not to deliberate on the DAP anymore as they had already stopped it, the SC still proceeded to give its ruling. That is to avoid the possibility that another one like DAP “may be used in the future,” Fr Rahilio Aquino, dean of San Beda Graduate School of Law, said in a news program aired this morning at DZMM.
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