DAP oral argument to push through next week

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

MALACANANG lost in its bid to delay the second round of oral argument on the petitions against the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) by two months.

The Supreme Court (SC) junked on Tuesday the motion of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to move the hearing from January 28 to March 25.

The Court also ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to submit a listing of sources of funds and their disbursements under the DAP within 15 days. The third hearing is on February 18.

The action came a day after former Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco asked the SC not to postpone the hearing as the long layoff may be used by the government to lobby for votes favoring the DAP’s constitutionality.

"It is said by many that the necessary number of votes favoring the DAP is not yet secured. The 'walkers' (influence peddlers) are still working on their mission of 'conversion' and they need more time to complete it," he said.

The Palace cited two grounds for the postponement.

First, that their collaborating counsel, retired SC Justice Vicente Mendoza, has to study the case and second, that the DBM could not submit DAP-related documents because it had been pre-occupied with the 2014 budget and the rehabilitation plans for calamity-stricken areas last year.

However, Syjuco said Mendoza entered his appearance as counsel as early as December and the DBM can easily retrieve DAP records and place them in a summarized and itemized form. (Sunnex)

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