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Araullo v Aquino (Carpio)

Araullo v Aquino (Carpio)

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Published by Steve B. Salonga
Separate Decision of Justice Antonio Carpio on the challenge to DAP.
Separate Decision of Justice Antonio Carpio on the challenge to DAP.

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Published by: Steve B. Salonga on Jul 04, 2014
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12/06/2014

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EN BANC G.R. No.
209287:
Maria Carolina
P.
Araullo, et al., petitioners
v.
Benigno Simeon
C.
Aquino, III, et al., respondents;
G.R. No.
209135:
Augusto L. Syjuco, Jr., petitioner
v.
Florencio
B.
Abad, et al., respondents;
G.R. No.
209136.:
Manuelito
R.
Luna, petitioner
v.
Secretary Florencio Abad, et al., respondents;
G.R. No.
209155:
Jose Malvar Villegas, Jr., petitioner
v.
The Honorable Executive Secretary Paquito
N.
Ochoa, Jr., et al., respondents;
G.R. No.
209164:
Philippine Constitution Association PHILCONSA), et al., petitioners
v.
The Department
of
Budget and Management and/or Hon. Florencio
B.
Abad, respondents;
G.R. No.
209260:
Integrated Bar
of
the Philippines IBP), petitioner
v.
Secretary Florencio Abad
of
the Department
of
Budget and Management DBM), respondent;
G.R. No.
209442:
Greco Antonious Beda
B.
Belgica, et al., petitioners
v.
President Benigno Simeon
C.
Aquino III, et al., respondents;
G.R. No.
209517:
Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement
of
Government Employees COURAGE), et al., petitioners
v.
His Excellency Benigno Simeon
C.
Aquino III, et al., respondents;
G.R. No.
209569:
Volunteers against Crime and Corruption VACC), petitioner
v.
Hon. Paquito
N.
Ochoa, Jr., et al., respondents. Promulgated:
Julv
1
2 14
x r = ~ x
SEPARATE OPINION CARPIO
J :
These consolidated special civil actions for
certior ri
and prohibition
 
filed by petitioners as taxpayers and Filipino citizens challenge the constitutionality
of
the Disbursement Acceleration Program DAP) implemented by the President, through the Department
of
Budget and Management DBM), which issued National Budget Circular No.
541
NBC 541) dated
18
July 2012. Petitioners assail the constitutionality
of
the DAP, as well as NBC 541, mainly on the following grounds:
1
there
is
no law passed for the creation
of
the
DAP,
contrary to Section 29, Article VI
of
the Constitution;
1
G.R. No. 209135
is
a petition for prohibition, mandamus, and certiorari under Rule
65
with a petition for declaratory relief under Rule 63, while the rest are petitions for certiorari and/or prohibition.
 
Separate Opinion
2
G.R. Nos. 209287. et
al
and (2) the realignment
of
funds which are not savings, the augmentation
of
non-existing items in the General Appropriations Act (GAA), and the transfer
of
appropriations from the Executive branch to the Legislative branch and constitutional bodies all violate Section 25(5), Article VI
of
the Constitution. On the other hand, respondents, represented by the Office
of
the Solicitor General (OSG), argue that no law
is
required for the creation
of
the DAP, which is a fund management system, and the DAP is a constitutional exercise
of
the President s power to augment or realign. Petitioners have standing to sue. The well-settled rule is that taxpayers, like petitioners here, have the standing to assail the illegal or unconstitutional disbursement
of
public funds.
2
Citizens, like petitioners here, also have standing to sue on matters
of
transcendental importance to the public which must
be
decided early,
3
like the transfer
of
appropriations from one branch
of
government to another or to the constitutional bodies, since such transfer may impair the finely crafted system
of
checks-andbalances enshrined in the Constitution. The DBM admits that under the DAP the total actual disbursements are as follows:
Table
3
(Figures in Thousand Pesos)
 
-
-
 ·
-
 
-
 
DAP DISBURSEMENTS AMOUNT 10-0ct-11 67,722,280 21-Dec-11 11,004,157 27-Jun-12 21,564,587 05-Sep-12 2,731,080 21-Dec-12 33,082,603 17-Jun-13 4,658,215 26-Sep-13 8,489,600 TOTAL 149,252,523
Under NBC 541, the sources
ofDAP
funds are as follows:
3 1
These guidelines shall cover the withdrawal
of
unobligated allotments as
of
June 30, 2012
of
all national government agencies (NGAs) charged against FY
2011
Continuing Appropriation (R.A. No.
2
Pascual
v
Secretary
o
Public
Works
110
Phil.
331
(1960);
Information Technology Foundation
o
he Phils.
v
COMELEC
464 Phil.
173
(2004). See also
Kilosbayan
Inc.
v
Morato
320 Phil.
171
(1995),
J
Vicente
V
Mendoza,
ponente.
3
Chavez
v
PCGG
360 Phil.
133
(1998);
Chavez
v
Public Estates Authority
433 Phil. 506 (2002);
Province
o
North Cotabato
v
Government
o
he Republic
o
he Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain
589 Phil. 387 (2008).
4
Rollo
(G.R. No. 209135),
p
175. Consolidated Comment,
p.
20.
 
Separate Opinion 3 G.R. Nos. 209287, et al. 10147) and
FY
2012 Current Appropriation (R.A. No. 10155), pertaining to:
3
1.1
Capital
Outlays
(CO); 3.1.2
Maintenance
and Other
Operating
Expenses
(MOOE) related to the implementation
of
programs and projects, as well as capitalized MOOE; and 3.1.3 Persona] Services corresponding to unutilized pension benefits declared as savings by the agencies concerned based on their updated/validated list
of
pensioners. (Boldfacing supplied)
In its Consolidated Comment,
5
the OSG declared that another source
of
DAP funds is the Unprogrammed Fund in the GAAs, which the DBM claimed can be tapped when government has windfall revenue collections, e.g., dividends from government-owned and controlled corporations and proceeds from the sale
of
government assets.
6
I
residential power
t
augment or realign
·
The OSG justifies the disbursements under DAP as an exercise
of
the President's power to augment or realign under the Constitution. The OSG has represented that the President approved the DAP disbursements and NBC 541.
 
Section 25(5), Article VI
of
the Constitution provides:
No law
shall be passed authorizing any transfer
of
appropriations; however, the President, the President
of
the Senate, the Speaker
of
the House
of
Representatives, the
Chief
Justice
of
the Supreme Court, and the heads
of
Constitutional Commissions may,
by
law, be authorized
to
augment any
item in the general
appropriations
law
for their
respective offices from savings in
other
items
of their
respective
5
Id.
at
163.
Consolidated Comment,
p.
8.
6
Rollo
(G.R. No. 209260),
p.
9
(Annex B
of
the Petition
in
G.R. No. 209260), citing the DBM website which contained the Constitutional and Legal Bases
of
the DAP (http://www.dbm.gov.ph/? page_id=7364).
7
Memorandum for the Respondents,
p.
25; TSN,
28
January 2014,
p.
17.
Solicitor General Jardeleza stated during the Oral Arguments:
SOLICITOR GENERAL
JARDELEZA:
xx xx
Presidential approval, again, did the President authorize the disbursements under the DAP?
Yes
Your Honors, kindly look at the
pt
Evidence Packet.
It
contains all the seven (7) memoranda corresponding to the various disbursements under the
DAP.
The memoranda list
in
detail all
116
and I repeat 1-1-6 identified and approved DAP projects. They show that every augmentation exercise was approved and duly signed by the President himself. This should lay to rest any suggestion
that
DAP was
carried
out without Presidential approval. (Boldfacing supplied)

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