Oct 262013
Malacañang on Saturday hailed as “fortunate” the Supreme Court’s non-issuance Friday of a temporary restraining order against the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said issuing a TRO against the DAP would have affected programs of the executive department.

“That’s fortunate, there’s no TRO that was issued against the policy or program that is DAP. May maapektuhan talagang programa as far as executive is concerned,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

Valte also said the government’s lawyers through the Office of the Solicitor General are preparing for the oral arguments for November.

On Friday, the Supreme Court convened to tackle petitions questioning the constitutionality of the DAP, but did not issue a TRO against its implementation.

But the high court scheduled a separate oral argument for the issuance of a TRO against the DAP for November 11. The main petitions are set for another oral argument on November 19.

“Naghahanda na naman ang OSG (Office of the Solicitor General) para sa na-set na oral arguments,” Valte said.

When asked if the Palace is optimistic the oral arguments for the DAP will stand, she said the government’s lawyers are ready.

“Handa tayong ipagtanggol ang basehan ng DAP in the same way handa tayo tuwing tinatawag ang Sol-Gen na ibigay ang panig ng pamahalaan,” she said.

DAP is a discretionary fund released to several senators last year after the conviction of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Some senators reportedly received between P50 and P100 million under the DAP.

But the administration and its allies argued the DAP was created to accelerate government spending, and is based on the President’s power to realign funds. — LBG, GMA News

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