Monday, December 21, 2015

‘Malala nga!’

‘Malala nga!’

It is apparent that the beleaguered President does not seem to understand or know what he is talking about, and that blank wall is now causing irreparable rift between him and the Judiciary.  This we say because he insists that Abad’s concocted formula has legal basis despite the Supreme Court’s unanimous rebuke declaring unconstitutional his use of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

In his latest tirade against the High Court made on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini, in Tanauan, Batangas, PNoy went on to accuse the Supreme Court of copying his budgetary formula.  In that, one could sense that he does not know that he is the country’s chief executive or even understands what an executive means to distinguish his role from those elected to enact the laws, and from those tasked to interpret the laws.  Ignorance combined with arrogance has made him so tenacious in refusing to concede that an appropriation is a law enacted by Congress authorizing the release of public funds, and the duty of the High Court is to simply examine whether the constitutional requisites were observed.
Hence, the issue brought to Court for interpretation was whether the constitutional process in securing an appropriation was observed, and whether the funds were arbitrarily allocated to other projects not otherwise included in the itemized General Appropriations Act (GAA).  In that, one could see that good faith is out of the question.  Moreover, the funds to be used in the appropriations act are derived from all taxes, customs duties and revenues earned by the government. 
The problem now is PNoy wants to retaliate in a tit-for-tat fight without him realizing that the declaration of DAP as unconstitutional already constitutes an indictment of him for violating the Constitution.  For premeditatedly by-passing Congress, he allocated to himself huge public funds, treating it as though it was his own to buy the loyalty of allies and to bribe political enemies.
In the case of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) or P.D. No. 1949, which is now the target of his attack, his brainless lapdogs in Congress, like Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar, wants to abrogate the JDF.  The problem is, his pathetic minions  can never proceed to abrogate that law without them pointing out how  it violated the Constitution, or coming out in their investigation pointing to some members of the judiciary as having illegally used and/or abused the JDF to commit graft.   No civilized courts of law will allow these delirious members of Congress to jump the gun on anybody without the proponents pointing out the violation, or that said law was used to commit graft as what PNoy now insinuates.  
To make it clear to those ranting in Congress, the JDF is a fund rightly earned by the courts for their services in bringing about speedy and orderly administration of justice.  Maybe Congress has the exclusive prerogative to enact laws vis-à-vis abolish laws, but that right ends when the proposed law would deprive the judiciary of its  rightful share of the funds,  more so if the funds being taken away clearly belongs to them as authorized in Section 7 of P.D. No. 1949.  In fact, once paid by litigants in the form of docket fees, they automatically form part of the Judiciary fund which under Section 3, Article VIII of the Constitution is assured of fiscal autonomy.  That silly proposal to abrogate the JDF constitutes an unwarranted act of interfering in the fiscal autonomy of the Judiciary.
Moreover, Section 3 provides that while Congress is allowed to reduce the appropriations given to the Judiciary, it cannot drastically reduce their budget lower than what Congress has appropriated in the previous fiscal year.  When PNoy cited as unlawful the decision of the Supreme Court to utilize its P1.865 billion savings for July 2012 to fund the construction of the Manila Hall of Justice, and another P100 million for the construction of the Malabon Hall of Justice under what PNoy  coined  as “cross-border transfer of funds,” he should have lauded the High Court for its generosity.  This we say because it remains his principal duty as chief executive to implement projects itemized in the GAA.  The amount handed by the Supreme Court to voluntarily help finance the construction was merely a supplement, and in so doing so, the court violated no law.
Paradoxically, had the Supreme Court not volunteered to use the JDF fund to help construct the two buildings cited by PNoy, did the court violate any law?   On the contrary, the Supreme Court, as chief court administrator, merely implemented the mandate given to it under Section 1 of P.D. No. 1949, which reason why it was authorized to collect docket fees.  The justices have the widest latitude to use the JDF funds to supplement projects, but their   contribution, like the power of Congress, is circumscribed to improving the facilities of the courts and to giving incentives to its personnel which PNoy insinuates as a variation of his syndicated budgetary formula called DAP.
On the other hand, PNoy’s juggling of funds to create artificial savings before the end of the fiscal year and using that to finance his priority projects while bypassing Congress and writing off the appropriated items in the GAA constitute a clear a clear violation of the Constitution. Likewise, his indiscrete use of funds for a different purpose makes him liable for technical malversation.   Similarly, even if  PNoy used the funds for the construction of the two halls of justice applying the Abad formula, many believed was originally formulated by Speaker Belmonte’s chief lieutenant and now his executive secretary,   still he cannot  raise the defense of good faith because no authority called “appropriations” was given him by Congress.   In which case, he could be held liable for plunder and malversation, not to say for culpable violation of the Constitution.
Right now, we could see how vaingloriously PNoy is in trying to defend himself from the crescendo demanding his prompt resignation.   His resignation has become imperative for even people who were once blindly enamored with the yellow hypocrisy, now give their lamentation saying, malala nga! Unless sooner stopped, indications are PNoy is steering the country to the precipice of chaos with an ominous warning to the justices that they either obey or pack up. Having ordained that his government is right, and those who opposed are wrong, one yellow fanatic now has the gull to extrapolate that his patron’s DAP maybe unconstitutional, but not immoral.  The problem is he failed to look back that the act of violating a law that was ratified by the people is the most hideous act of immorality!

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