Nov 072013

The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday moved to November 19 the oral arguments on the constitutionality of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

“Urgent Advisory: oral argument in the consolidated #DAP cases is reset from (November) 11 to (November) 19 at 2 PM,” the SC Public Information Office tweeted.
The SC initially scheduled the oral arguments on October 22, had it reset to November 19 and moved the same to November 11.

As of Thursday, the high court has received nine petitions questioning the DAP’s constitutionality especially as it was realigned without the Congress’ approval.

The DAP received flack after Senator Jinggoy Estrada bared that he and other senators who voted to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona in May last year received P50 million each in additional funds months after the impeachment trial.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad later admitted that the funds came from the DAP, but maintained these were not bribes or incentives for senators. He said the DAP fund, which is basically realigned savings, was released to address sluggish government spending in 2011.

Estrada, along with Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., is facing a plunder complaint over the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam supposedly masterminded by trader Janet Lim-Napoles. All three seantors have denied being involved in the alleged anomaly.

In a televised address last week, President Benigno Aquino III criticized “thieves” who equated the DAP with the pork barrel scam, adding that his critics were diverting the public’s attention and smearing his administration. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/RSJ, GMA News

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