P-Noy’s pork: not criminal, not corrupt?-A A +A
Sunday, July 6, 2014
“Forget about the Supreme Court decision, I’m asking you if DAP is wrong per se”--Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda to news reporters
THE Palace is using two defenses in answering calls for President Aquino to be sanctioned in the wake of the Supreme Court decision that declared his pork barrel unconstitutional.
One publicist said an act that violates the Constitution is not necessarily illegal.
Releasing funds under Budget Secretary Butch Abad’s scheme--called Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP--could be unconstitutional but it wasn’t criminal.
Another Palace p.r. person repeated a line P-Noy earlier pitched: the money didn’t go to private pockets; it was used to stimulate the economy.
DAP, he said, can’t be compared with Congress’s PDAF or Priority Development Assistance Fund, which was funneled into bogus NGOs and conniving legislators.
How can DAP be not similarly illegal and graft-ridden when at least P425 million from five senators went to Janet Napoles’s NGos?
Cracks on road
A violation of the Constitution is an impeachable offense but any move to evict the president isn’t likely to prosper in a Congress dominated by his party coalition.
On criminal liability, corruption may be committed even if only Napoles and the senators profited. But P-Noy can be charged only after his term ends.
As anti-graft crusader, he’s now accused of committing the same offenses he condemns. There are serious cracks on the road he’s taking us.
And Mr. Lacierda, what the reporters think won’t have any bearing on the high court’s decision.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 07, 2014.