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SC defers vote on DAP, oral arguments set Nov 11

(Supreme Court of the Philippines}

(Supreme Court of the Philippines}

MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Supreme Court (SC) has deferred the voting on the temporary restraining order (TRO) plea of former Iloilo Rep Augusto Syjuco, Jr on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) of the Aquino administration.

The high court was expected to vote on the plea in today’s special En Banc session.

However, it was agreed that oral arguments be heard first to shed light on the mechanics of the controversial stimulus package before the magistrates cast their vote on whether to prevent Malacanan from disbursing funds through the DAP to fund aid and rehabilitation efforts in quake-hit areas in Central Visayas.

The high court has reset the oral arguments to November 11 from the original schedule of November 19.

In his urgent motion, Syjuco urged the high court to restrain the release of funds, through the DAP, for quake-hit victims.

This, after Malacanan said its calamity funds are almost depleted, and that the stimulus program will be used to fund aid and rehabilitation efforts for areas hit by the 7.2 magnitude earth quake last October 15.

Six petitions have been filed with the SC against the DAP; petitioners include the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

Petitioners assailed the DAP as unconstitutional; they pointed out that it is not sanctioned by any law, and illegal for allowing the transfer of funds from one branch of government to another.

Petitioners also stressed that the DAP funds are not “savings” as claimed by Malacanan since these actually come from unperformed projects.(MNS)

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