Various youth organizations slammed the Aquino administration, Tuesday, after the Supreme Court (SC) failed to release a ruling over Malacanang’s appeal regarding the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) during the latest en banc session.
Youth, concerned citizens and critics of DAP stood in the rain outside the SC waiting for the High Court’s ruling, but no ruling came. In the latest en banc session held earlier, no ruling was released as Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno was in Malacanang for the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
Youth Act Now, a nationwide youth alliance, said the administration is seemingly “crafting its maneuvers to derail the finality of the ruling”. The group fears the decision will be delayed as the last en banc session of the SC for the year 2014 is already on December 9. The discussion on the DAP is scheduled today following the filing of Malacanang’s appeal on July 18, 2014.
The group is also calling on the SC to reject Malacanang’s appeal to withdraw the ruling on the unconstitutionality of DAP.
According to Victor Villanueva, Youth Act Now National Spokesperson, the Palace wanted a favorable decision because the administration retained DAP in the 2015 national budget and tried to circumvent the July 1 SC decision on DAP’s unconstitutionality by putting in new definitions of “savings”.
“It’s ironic and insulting when [the] Palace talks about prosecutions on officials involved in fund misuse when Aquino himself and his cronies pave ways to railroad the passage of the 2015 budget including the P500 billion presidential pork barrel, P22.5 billion supplemental budget and other chunks of funds under his sole discretion,” Villanueva added.
Youth Act Now, however, declared that they would be waiting at the High Court’s gates when the decision will hopefully be released on December 9.
“The people cannot afford to lose our initial victory against pork barrel. The youth will always be vigilant in holding Aquino and other government officials accountable for misuse of public funds,” said Villanueva.
Meanwhile, members of Anakbayan Metro Manila staged a lightning rally in Mendiola to express their dismay over the delay of the Supreme Court ruling on DAP. “We need to hold the Aquino administration accountable for the massive corruption and the fact remains that huge pork barrel funds still exist in the 2015 national budget,” said Anakbayan Metro Manila Chairperson Christian Lloyd Magsoy. Magsoy added that a noise barrage against corruption is set on December 4.