Palace won’t dignify ex-senator’s statement vs Aquino

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Monday, July 7, 2014

MALACANANG refused Monday to comment on former Senator Joker Arroyo's statement, calling President Benigno Aquino III as an "evil genius" because of the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

"With due respect to Senator Arroyo, we do not wish to dignify comments from Senator Arroyo," said Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a press briefing.

Arroyo reportedly called Aquino as an "evil genius" for coming up with a DAP that granted the Palace to take over the savings of other agencies.

The Supreme Court recently declared as unconstitutional certain provisions of DAP.

Arroyo also reportedly challenged Aquino to include in his upcoming State of the Nation Address (Sona) the supposed benefits from DAP.

Lacierda, however, said that the public should just wait for the President's Sona.

"The President will choose to say what he wants to say in Sona," he said.

Lacierda also defended Aquino in using Administrative Code of 1987 as a basis for DAP.

Arroyo reportedly wondered why the President used this administrative code as basis for DAP when in fact his mother, late President Corazon Aquino, did not use this.

"Revised Administrative Code of 1987 is EO (Executive Order) 292. That was enact[ed]—that was signed as an Executive Act by President Cory Aquino. It was signed, I believe, two days before the First Congress under the 1987 Constitution was convened. If you look at the 1987 Constitution, the transitory provisions there said that the President will continue to exercise her legislative powers until the First Congress convenes," he said.

He added that the fact that one uses the law or not should not be a basis for bewilderment.

"There's a law that has not been declared invalid as of this—up 'til this point. It is still constitutional. It’s still legal. Nobody has questioned the Revised Administrative Code of 1987. And it has been used as a basis for the continuing authority of past presidents to reorganize the executive department. So that question should not be asked from us. That question should be answered by Senator Arroyo himself," he added. (SDR/Sunnex)

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