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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC MARIA CAROLINA P. ARAULLO, Chairperson, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, JUDY M. TAGUIWALO, Professor, University of the Philippines Diliman, CoChairperson, Pagbabago, HENRI KAHN, Concerned Citizens Movement, REP. LUZ ILAGAN, Gabriela Women’s Party Representative, REP. TERRY L. RIDON, Kabataan Partylist Representative, REP. CARLOS ISAGANI ZARATE, Bayan Muna Party-list Representative, RENATO M. REYES, JR., Secretary General of BAYAN, MANUEL K. DAYRIT, Chairman, Ang Kapatiran Party, VENCER MARI E. CRISOSTOMO, Chairperson, Anakbayan, VICTOR L. VILLANUEVA, Convenor, Youth Act Now, Petitioners, -versusGR No. ________ Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction

BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, PAQUITO N. OCHOA JR., Executive Secretary, and FLORENCIO B. ABAD, Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, Respondents. x-------------------------------------------------------x PETITION FOR CERTIORARI AND PROHIBITION WITH PRAYER FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND/OR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

 

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Petitioners, by counsels, unto the Honorable Supreme Court, most respectfully state that: PREFATORY "For the love of money is the root of all evil: ..." and money belonging to no one in particular, i.e. public funds, provide an even greater temptation for misappropriation and embezzlement. This, evidently, was foremost in the minds of the framers of the constitution in meticulously prescribing the rules regarding the appropriation and disposition of public funds as embodied in Sections 16 and 18 of Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution. Hence, the conditions on the release of money from the treasury [Sec. 18(1)]; the restrictions on the use of public funds for public purpose [Sec. 18(2)]; the prohibition to transfer an appropriation for an item to another [See. 16(5) and the requirement of specifications [Sec. 16(2)], among others, were all safeguards designed to forestall abuses in the expenditure of public funds. (Demetria v. Alba, G.R. No. 71977 February 27, 1987)

PARTIES Petitioners _________ 1. All of the petitioners are of legal age and Filipinos, and suing in their capacity as concerned citizens, taxpayers and legislators, to wit: a. MARIA CAROLINA P. ARAULLO is the Chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN); b. JUDY M. TAGUIWALO is a Professor of the University of the Philippines Diliman and also the Co-Chairperson of Pagbabago; c. HENRI KAHN is a member of the Concerned Citizens Movement; d. REP. LUZ ILAGAN is Gabriela Women’s Party Representative for the 16th Congress; e. REP. TERRY L. RIDON is Kabataan Partylist Representative for the 16th Congress; f. REP. CARLOS ZARATE is Bayan Muna Party-list Representative for the 16th Congress; g. MANUEL K. DAYRIT is the Chairman, of the Ang Kapatiran Party; h. VENCER MARI E. CRISOSTOMO is the Chairperson of Anakbayan; i. VICTOR L. VILLANUEVA is the Convenor of Youth Act Now.
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2. All petitioners may be served notices, orders, and other processes of this Honorable Court at the address of the undersigned counsels. 3. As taxpayers, Petitioners are filing this Petition against Public Respondents in accordance with this Honorable Court’s ruling in Paguia vs. Office of the President (621 SCRA 600) that taxpayers’ contributions to the state’s coffers entitle them to question appropriations for expenditures which are claimed to be unconstitutional or illegal. 4. Petitioners Ilagan, Ridon and Zarate are also suing as Members of the House of Representatives, possesses locus standi, which is defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. Public Respondents _________________ 5. Public Respondent BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III, President of the Republic of the Philippines. His office is at the Office of the President, New Executive Building, Malacanang Palace, J.P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila, where he may be served notices, orders, and other processes of this Honorable Court. 6. Public Respondent PAQUITO N. OCHOA JR., Executive Secretary, is the primary alter ego of the President who is the head of the executive department with the duty to implement the laws of the land. His office is at the Office of the Executive Secretary, New Executive Building, Malacanang Palace, J.P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila, where he may be served notices, orders, and other processes of this Honorable Court. 7. Public Respondent FLORENCIO B. ABAD is the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management under the executive department. His office is at General Solano St., San Miguel, Manila, where he may be served notices, orders, and other processes of this Honorable Court. NATURE OF THE PETITION 8. This is a special civil action for Certiorari and Prohibition, with application for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, brought under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

 

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9. In filing this Petition, Petitioner is not only invoking the power of this Honorable Court to strike down acts that violate the Constitution, but also the judicial power of this Honorable Court under Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides: Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. (Emphasis ours) 10. The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is officially embodied in the DBM National Budget Circular No. 5411 dated July 18, 2012 which declared that due to the “under-spending of various agencies”, the President ordered on June 27, 2012 “the withdrawal of all unobligated allotments of all agencies with low level of obligations as of June 30, 2012 both for continuing and current allotment” 11. The said “withdrawn funds” were deemed as “savings by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino and DBM Sec. Florencio Abad and realigned, in blatant defiance of the Constitution and the General Appropriations Act passed by Congress, to “Augment existing programs and projects of other agencies” and Fund priority programs and projects not considered in the 2012 budget but expected to be started or implemented within the current year”. 12. Petitioners contend that said funds could not be artificially deemed as “savings” as defined by the DBM and the General Appropriations Act of 2012 since there could be not “savings” in the middle of a fiscal year, especially if the projects or programs for which these funds were allocated by law, have not been completed, discontinued or abandoned. 13. The resolution of the issue whether NBC Circular 541 or the DAP violates the Constitution, the EO 292 or the Administrative Code and the appropriations law is surely not political, because this no longer pertains to the wisdom or discretionary act of a public official. Rather the issue in this case is the constitutionality and legality of withdrawing funds from duly-enacted budgetary allocations and then realigning these funds to other budgetary items including those that were not even provided under the General Appropriations Act.
                                                                                                                1  Attached  as  Annex  “A”     4  

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14. Additionally, the general issue of the constitutionality of the “pork barrel”—both the PDAF and the lump sum funds, whether in the budget or off-budget which are considered “Presidential Pork”—can never be deemed a political issue as it strikes deep into the constitutional power of Congress to approve the national budget. We define “pork barrel” as public funds, usually in lump sum amounts, the disposition of which is subject solely to the discretion of the pork holder as to the selection of the projects and the beneficiaries. 15. Are acts of legislators in intervening in the implementation or execution of the General Appropriations Act through the mechanism of selection of projects and/or its beneficiaries constitutional and legal? Petitioners contend that not only does such intervention go beyond the constitutional mandate of Congress but also compromise the integrity of Congress’ role as the approving authority of the budget. 16. Are lump sum amounts in the budget, which ceased to be merely in the nature of a contingency fund considering that these amounts are so substantial that these are larger than if not equal to the regular budget of the agencies, constitutional? Lump sum amounts in the budget not only makes it impossible for Congress to be apprised of what items in the budget they are approving, but also, practically grants the President the power to approve these appropriations instead of Congress. 17. Both these issues are not questions of wisdom (even if Petitioners believe this kind of budgeting process is surely not wise) but touches on the violation of the constitutional canalization of the powers of the executive and the legislative and, the constitutional checks and balances required in a republican system of government. 18. Petitioners believe that this Honorable Court has the power, and more importantly the duty, to resolve these issues if only eliminate a scourge in the disposition of public funds that have so long been a source of graft and corruption and patronage politics. 19. The discussion in Daza vs. Singson (G.R. No. 86344 December 21, 1989) regarding judicial powers of this Honorable Court is very enlightening, thus: At the core of this controversy is Article VI, Section 18, of the Constitution providing as follows: Sec. 18. There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of the President of the Senate, as ex officio Chairman, twelve Senators and twelve Members of the House of
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Representatives, elected by each House on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The Chairman of the Commission shall not vote, except in case of a tie. The Commission shall act on all appointments submitted to it within thirty session days of the Congress from their submission. The Commission shall rule by a majority vote of all the Members. Ruling first on the jurisdictional issue, we hold that, contrary to the respondent's assertion, the Court has the competence to act on the matter at bar. Our finding is that what is before us is not a discretionary act of the House of Representatives that may not be reviewed by us because it is political in nature. What is involved here is the legality, not the wisdom, of the act of that chamber in removing the petitioner from the Commission on Appointments. That is not a political question because, as Chief Justice Concepcion explained in Tanada v. Cuenco. 6 ... the term "political question" connotes, in legal parlance, what it means in ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. In other words, ... it refers "to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government." It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure. In the aforementioned case, the Court was asked by the petitioners therein to annul the election of two members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal of that chamber, on the ground that they had not been validly nominated. The Senate then consisted of 23 members from the Nacionalista Party and the petitioner as the lone member of the Citizens Party. Senator Lorenzo M. Tanada nominated only himself as the minority representative in the Tribunal, whereupon the majority elected Senators Mariano J. Cuenco. and Francisco Delgado, from its own ranks, to complete the nine-man composition of the Tribunal as provided for in the 1935 Constitution. The petitioner came to this Court, contending that under Article VI, Section 11, of that Charter, the six legislative members of the Tribunal were to be chosen by the Senate, "three upon nomination of the party having the largest number of votes and three of the party having the second largest number of votes therein." As the majority party in the Senate, the Nacionalista Party could nominate only three members and could not also fill the other two seats pertaining to the minority. By way of special and affirmative defenses, the respondents contended inter alia that the subject of the petition was an
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internal matter that only the Senate could resolve. The Court rejected this argument, holding that what was involved was not the wisdom of the Senate in choosing the respondents but the legality of the choice in light of the requirement of the Constitution. The petitioners were questioning the manner of filling the Tribunal, not the discretion of the Senate in doing so. The Court held that this was a justiciable and not a political question, x x x X x x Although not specifically discussed, the same disposition was made in Cunanan v. Tan as it likewise involved the manner or legality of the organization of the Commission on Appointments, not the wisdom or discretion of the House in the choice of its representatives. In the case now before us, the jurisdictional objection becomes even less tenable and decisive. The reason is that, even if we were to assume that the issue presented before us was political in nature, we would still not be precluded from resolving it under the expanded jurisdiction conferred upon us that now covers, in proper cases, even the political question. Article VIII, Section 1, of the Constitution clearly provides: Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. x x x, we have held as early as in the Emergency Powers Cases 7 that where serious constitutional questions are involved, "the transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure." The same policy has since then been consistently followed by the Court, as in Gonzales v. Commission on Elections, 8where we held through Chief Justice Fernando: Xxxx The language of justice Laurel fits the case: "All await the decision of this Court on the constitutional question. Considering, therefore, the importance which the instant case has assumed and to prevent multiplicity of suits, strong reasons of public policy demand that [its] constitutionality ... be now resolved.' It may likewise be added that the exceptional character of the situation
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that confronts us, the paramount public interest, and the undeniable necessity for ruling, the national elections being barely six months away, reinforce our stand. It would appear undeniable, therefore, that before us is an appropriate invocation of our jurisdiction to prevent the enforcement of an alleged unconstitutional statute. We are left with no choice then; we must act on the matter. 20. Moreover, the Honorable Court ought to exercise judicial review over this Petition, because the questioned executive acts are a matter of transcendental importance, of overarching significance to society, and of paramount public interest.

STATEMENT OF FACTS 21. On August 5, 2013 during the official budget deliberation of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) and the Department of Budget Management (DBM) Rep. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna Party-list inquired from the DBM Secretary, Respondent Florencio Abad about the nature of the DBM National Budget Circular No. 541 (NBC 541 hereafter). Sec. Abad informed the Appropriations Committee that NBC 541 is intended to accelerate disbursement under a then unknown “Disbursement Acceleration Program” (DAP hereafter) by withdrawing unobligated allotments from “underspending” agencies. 22. When asked by Rep. Colmenares whether NBC 541 is constitutional considering that authorizes withdrawal of funds midyear and realigns it to other projects, Sec. Abad maintained that it is only intended to be realigned for existing projects anyway. He further stated that if the withdrawn funds will be spent on projects not contained in the General Appropriations Act then indeed it would be unconstitutional. 23. When Sec. Abad was again asked how much was already withdrawn and realigned under DAP he answered that P75 Billion was realigned in 2011 and another P27 Billion in 2012. He confirmed that these funds came from slow moving agencies particularly the DENR, DPWH, DOTC, DOH, DSWD, DAR, DepEd, and the DA. 24. On September 25, 2013 Senator Jinggoy Estrada revealed in his Privilege Speech that he and other senators, then siting as senator-judges in the Impeachment Trial of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, were offered P50 Million each in exchange for a vote of conviction against Corona.
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25. Estrada said that after the conviction of Corona in May 2012, those who voted to convict him were allotted an additional P50 Million, as provided in a private and confidential letter memorandum by the then Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. In his speech, Estrada dubbed the additional amount as “incentive” for Corona’s ouster. 26. It will be recalled that at the height of the Impeachment Trial against Corona in February 2012, his lawyer Atty. Jose Roy, claimed that Malacanang, through Pres. Aquino’s Executive Secretary, Respondent Paquito Ochoa, offered senators P100 Million worth of projects in exchange for defying the Supreme Court temporary restraining order on the opening of bank accounts under Corona’s name. Atty. Roy was cited for contempt and reprimanded by the Impeachment Court for making such a claim. It turned out a year after that there is basis for Atty. Roy’s expose. 27. On September 27, 2013, during the Plenary Deliberation for the approval of the 2014 Budget on Second Reading, Rep. Neri Colmenares again inquired about NBC 541 from the Office of the President, then represented by Respondent Ochoa and on the floor by Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Isidro Ungab. Rep. Colmenares was informed by Respondent Ochoa that indeed the Disbursement Acceleration Program exists but it was intended to realign funds from under-spending agencies in order to accelerate growth, thereby confirming not only that the DAP exists but also that it was with the approval of Pres. Aquino. 28. On September 28, 2013 Sec. Abad issued a statement through the DBM website explaining the purpose of the additional fund releases to senators as mentioned in the speech of Sen. Estrada and said that the same came from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). According to Sec. Abad these funds were not bribes, but were necessary to “help accelerate economic expansion”. 29. This NBC 541 was issued on July 18, 2012 by the DBM. Pertinent provisions are as follows: 3.0 Coverage 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 (RA No.10147) and FY 2012 Current Appropriation (RA No. 10155) xxx

 

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3.2 The withdrawal of unobligated allotments may cover the identified programs, projects and activities of the departments/agencies reflected in the DBM list shown as Annex A or specific programs and projects as may be identified by the agencies. xxx 5.7 The withdrawn allotments may be: 5.7.1 Reissued for the original programs and projects of the agencies/OUs concerned, from which the allotments were withdrawn; 5.7.2 Realigned to cover additional funding for other existing programs and projects of the agency/OU; or 5.7.3 Used to augment existing programs and projects of any agency and to fund priority programs and projects not considered in the 2012 budget but expected to be started or implemented during the current year. (Emphasis theirs) 30. The DBM in its website admits, however, that in 2011, long before the issuance of DBM National Budget Circular 541, the Disbursement Acceleration Program has been implemented and the Executive has been withdrawing funds and realigning appropriations approved by Congress. The DBM website2 as well as the Official Gazette website3 published the following information on the DAP: Frequently Asked Questions Acceleration Program (DAP) A. 1. About the DAP What is DAP? about the Disbursement

The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is a stimulus package under the Aquino administration designed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth. This covers highimpact budgetary programs and projects which will be augmented out of the savings generated during the year and additional revenue sources. The DAP was approved by the President on October 12, 2011 upon the recommendation of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) and the Cabinet Clusters.
                                                                                                                2    Frequently  Asked  Questions,  available  at  http://www.dbm.gov.ph/?page_id=7362.   Last  accessed  October  11,  2013   3    Q&A  on  the  Disbursement  Acceleration  Program,  published  on  October  7,  2013,   available  at  http://www.gov.ph/2013/10/07/qa-­‐on-­‐the-­‐disbursement-­‐ acceleration-­‐program/.  Last  accessed  October  11,  2013       10  

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What was the context when DAP was introduced?

The DAP was conceptualized in September 2011 and introduced in October 2011, in the context of the prevailing underspending in government disbursements for the first eight months of 2011 that dampened the country’s economic growth. Such government intervention was needed as key programs and projects, most notably public infrastructure, were moving slowly. The need to accelerate public spending was also brought about by the global economic situation as well as the financial toll of calamities in that year. While the economy has generally improved in 2012 and 2013, the use of DAP was continued to sustain the pace of public spending as well as economic expansion. B. Amounts and Purposes Funded through DAP

1. How much were the programs and projects funded through DAP in 2011, 2012, and 2013? For 2011-2012, a total of P142.23 Billion was released for programs and projects identified through the DAP, of which P83.53 Billion is for 2011 and 58.70 Billion is for 2012. In 2011, the amount was used to provide additional funds for programs/projects such as healthcare, public works, housing and resettlement, and agriculture, among others. While in 2012, these were used to augment tourism road infrastructure, school infrastructure, rehabilitation and extension of light rail transit systems, and sitio electrification, among others. In 2013, about P15.13 Billion has been approved for the hiring of policemen, additional funds for the modernization of PNP, the redevelopment of Roxas Boulevard, and funding for the Typhoon Pablo rehabilitation projects for Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. 2. What kind of projects are funded through the DAP?

The programs and projects submitted to the DBM must meet the following conditions: a) Fast-moving or quick-disbursing, e.g. the payment of obligations incurred from premium subsidy for indigent families in the National Health Insurance Program; b) Urgent or priority in terms of social and economic development objectives, e.g. the upgrading of equipment and facilities for specialty hospitals, rehabilitation of Light Rail Transit and Metro Rail Transit, and the Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) program of DOST;
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c) Programs or projects performing well and could deliver more services to the public with the additional funds e.g. Training for Work Scholarship Program of DOLE-TESDA. Some of the items funded through the DAP are expenditures which are mandated by law, such as capital infusion for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (R.A. 7653, Section 2) out of the augmented Budgetary Support to Government CorporationsOthers. 3. How much were the programs and projects that were endorsed by legislators? The legislators have also endorsed programs and projects for the social and economic benefit of their constituents, such as medical assistance and local infrastructure projects. The proposals were funded through DAP as they are existing budgetary items in the GAA and compliant with the conditions stated above. Of the total DAP approved by OP for 2011-2012 amounting to a total of P142.23 Billion only 9 percent was released to programs and projects identified by legislators. These were not released directly to legislators but to implementing agencies. C. 1. Sourcing of Funds for DAP How were funds sourced?

Funds used for programs and projects identified through DAP were sourced from savings generated by the government, the realignment of which is subject to the approval of the President; as well as the Unprogrammed Fund that can be tapped when government has windfall revenue collections, e.g., unexpected remittance of dividends from the GOCCs and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), sale of government assets. 2. Where did savings come from?

Savings were sourced from: a) the pooling of unreleased appropriations such as unreleased Personnel Services appropriations which will lapse at the end of the year, unreleased appropriations of slow moving projects and discontinued projects per Zero-Based Budgeting findings; and b) the withdrawal of unobligated allotments, also for slowmoving programs and projects, which have earlier been released to national government agencies. In line with laws on the use of savings (see below), DBM ensured that programs and projects funded through DAP have an
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appropriation cover; meaning, these are existing programs and projects in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) that can be augmented by such savings. xxx 31. According to Respondent Abad4, “in 2012, most releases were made during the period October-December, based entirely on the request submitted to us by the Senators.” He detailed the releases to senators as follows: Those who received releases during that period and their corresponding amounts were: Sens. Antonio Trillanes (October 2012–P50M), Manuel Villar (October 2012–P50M), Ramon Revilla (October 2012–P50M), Francis Pangilinan (October 2012–P30M),Loren Legarda (October 2012–P50M), Lito Lapid (October 2012–P50M),Jinggoy Estrada (October 2012– P50M), Alan Cayetano (October 2012–P50M),Edgardo Angara (October 2012–P50M), Ralph Recto (October 2012– P23M; December 2012–P27M), Koko Pimentel (October 2012– P25.5M; November 2012–P5M; December 2012–P15M), Tito Sotto (October 2012–P11M; November 2012–P39M), Teofisto Guingona (October 2012–P35M; December 2012–P9M),Serge Osmena (December 2012–P50M), then-Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile(December 2012–P92M) and current Senate President Frank Drilon(December 2012–P100M). “There were two earlier releases made in late August of that same year: Greg Honasan (P50M) and Francis Escudero (P99M). No releases were made in 2012 to Senators Ping Lacson, Joker Arroyo, Pia Cayetano, Bongbong Marcos and Miriam Defensor-Santiago. In 2013, however, releases were made for funding requests from the office of Sen. Arroyo (February 2013–P47M) and Sen. Pia th Cayetano (January 2013–P50M). The 24 Senator then, Benigno S. Aquino III, was already President. GROUNDS THE DISBURSEMENT ACCELERATION PROGRAM (DAP) AND NBC 541 INFRINGE UPON THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW: A. THE DAP AND THE NBC 541 VIOLATE SEC. 29 (1), ART. VI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION B. NO DELEGATION OF POWER OF APPROPRIATIONS
                                                                                                                4  Abad:  Releases  to  Senators  Part  of  Spending  Acceleration  Program.  Published  on   September  30,  2013.  Available  at  http://www.dbm.gov.ph/?p=7302.  Last  accessed   October  9,  2013.     13  

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C. THE DAP AND DBM 541 VIOLATE SEC. 25 (5), ART. VI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION D. THE DAP AND NBC 541 VIOLATE SEC. 27 ART. VI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION DISCUSSION 32. This Honorable Court has previously stated, that public funds provide an even greater temptation for misappropriation and embezzlement.5 Thus, meticulous rules regarding the appropriation and disposition of public funds were embodied in our Constitution. 33. The 1987 Constitution provides for such meticulous rules. Thus Section 25 (5), Article VI provides for an absolute prohibition regarding transfer of appropriations, with the sole exception of savings: Sec. 25 (5), Article VI, 1987 Constitution “Section 25 (5). 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 appropriations.” 34. Likewise, another Constitutional safeguard provides for an absolute prohibition regarding paying out public funds from the national treasury – it must be made ONLY in pursuance of an appropriation law. Thus, Sec. 29 (1), Article VI, 1987 Constitution “No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law”. 35. The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the National Budget Circular No. 541 (NBC 541) both infringe on the aforesaid Constitutional limits regarding appropriation and disposition and public funds. A. THE DAP AND THE NBC 541 VIOLATE SEC. 29 (1), ART. VI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION 36. Per the DBM website mentioned above, Respondents’ justification for the creation and implementation of the DAP are (1) Sec. 25(5), Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution, (2) Sec. 49 and 38,
                                                                                                                5  Demetria  v.  Alba,  supra     14  

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Chapter 5, Book VI of Executive Order No. 292, (3) “use of savings” provisions found in the General Appropriation Acts for Fiscal Years 2011, 2012 and 2013. 37. These cited provisions do not suffice to provide for the legal bases in the creation and implementation of the DAP. 38. No less than the Constitution mandates that public funds will not be paid out of the national treasury exception through an appropriation law enacted by Congress. “Congress alone can authorize the expenditure of public funds through its power to appropriate. The power to appropriate carries with it the power to specify not just the amount that may be spent but also the purpose for which it may be spent.”6 39. In the case of DAP, no appropriation law was enacted stating the amount that may be spent for it, as well as the purpose for which the DAP may be spent. No appropriation law was enacted by Congress creating DAP. The cited provisions by Respondents do not amount to an appropriation law, but merely a futile and belated attempt to justify an illegal appropriation and disbursement of public funds and usurpation of the legislative’s power to appropriate public funds. 40. DBM 541 also suffers from this Constitutional infirmity.

41. Tantamount to appropriating public funds, the DBM 541 authorizes the funding “priority programs and projects not considered in the 2012 budget but expected to be started or implemented during the fiscal year.” (5.7.3, NBC 541) 42. Clearly, the DBM 541 is an appropriation of public funds by the Executive, which did not originate in the House of Representatives as mandated by Sec. 24, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution which provides: Sec. 24, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution “All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing the increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.” B. NO DELEGATION OF POWER OF APPROPRIATIONS

                                                                                                                6  Fr.  Joaquin  Bernas,  “1987  Constitution  of  the  Republic  of  the  Philippines:   Commentary”  2003  edition.       15  

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43. Neither was there any delegation of the power to appropriate to Respondents. 44. The cited laws by Respondents to justify DAP – Sec. 49 and 38, Chapter 5, Book VI of Executive Order No. 292, and the “use of savings” provisions found in the General Appropriation Acts for Fiscal Years 2011, 2012 and 2013 – could never be the source of delegated powers by the Legislature to the Executive. 45. Likewise, the cited laws to justify DBM 541 do not constitute delegated powers. In 1.0 Rationale, the DBM mentions Sections 38 and 39, Chapter 5 Book VI of EO 292 as the basis for the President’s power to impound funds allotted for any agency or expenditure authorized in the General Appropriations Act, as well as the power to withdraw and pool unutilized allotment releases (See 1.0, DBM 541) 46. Simply put, both DAP and DBM 541 harp on the power of the President to Impound, and the Use of Savings. 47. Section 38, Chapter 5 Book VI of EO 292 provided the limit to the power of the President to suspend expenditure of appropriation, that is, when such limit or restriction is provided in the General Appropriations Act, thus Section 38. Suspension of Expenditure of Appropriations. Except as otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act and whenever in his judgment the public interest so requires, the President, upon notice to the head of office concerned, is authorized to suspend or otherwise stop further expenditure of funds allotted for any agency, or any other expenditure authorized in the General Appropriations Act, except for personal services appropriations used for permanent officials and employees. 48. The 2012 GAA provides:

Sec. 64. Prohibition Against Impoundment of Appropriations. No appropriations authorized under this Act shall be impounded through retention or deduction, unless in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by the DBM: PROVIDED, That all the funds appropriated for the purposes, programs, projects and activities authorized under this Act, except those covered under the Unprogrammed Fund, shall be released pursuant to Section 33 (3), Chapter 5, Book VI of E.O. No. 292. Sec. 65. Unmanageable National Government Budget Deficit. Retention or deduction of appropriations authorized in this Act
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shall be effected only in cases where there is an unmanageable national government budget deficit. Unmanageable national government budget deficit as used in this section shall be construed to mean that (i) the actual National Government budget deficit has exceeded the quarterly budget deficit targets consistent with the full-year target deficit as indicated in the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing submitted by the President and approved by Congress pursuant to Section 22, Article VII of the Constitution, or (ii) there are clear economic indications of an impending occurrence of such condition, as determined by the Development Budget Coordinating Committee and approved by the President. 49. Section 64 must be read together with Section 65. In which case, Presidential power to impound can only be in exercised in cases “unmanageable national government budget deficit”. In this case, Respondents failed to state any instance that warrants the existence of an unmanageable national government budget deficit. Budgetary under-spending by government agencies cannot be deemed an “unmanageable” budget deficit, but, on the contrary, may even result in savings, not deficit, if said funds remain unspent at the end of the year. This being the case, there is no justification for the enactment of both DAP and DBM 541, considering that there exists no unmanageable national government budget deficit that could trigger the exercise of the power to impound. 50. Section 39 and 49 Chapter 5 Book VI of EO 292 likewise provided the limit with respect to the use of savings, thus Section 39. Authority to Use Savings in Appropriations to Cover Deficits. - Except as otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act, any savings in the regular appropriations authorized in the General Appropriations Act for programs and projects of any department, office or agency, may, with the approval of the President, be used to cover a deficit in any other item of the regular appropriations: provided, that the creation of new positions or increase of salaries shall not be allowed to be funded from budgetary savings except when specifically authorized by law: provided, further, that whenever authorized positions are transferred from one program or project to another within the same department, office or agency, the corresponding amounts appropriated for personal services are also deemed transferred, without, however increasing the total outlay for personal services of the department, office or agency concerned. Section 49. Authority to Use Savings for Certain Purposes. Savings in the appropriations provided in the General
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Appropriations Act may be used for the settlement of the following obligations incurred during a current fiscal year or previous fiscal years as may be approved by Secretary in accordance with rules and procedures as may be approved by the President: (1) Claims of officials, employees and laborers who died or were injured in line of duty, including burial expenses as authorized under existing law; (2) Commutation of terminal leaves of employees due to retirement, resignation or separation from the service through no fault of their own in accordance with the provisions of existing law, including unpaid claims for commutation of maternity leave of absence; (3) Payment of retirement gratuities or separation pay of employees separated from the service due to government reorganization; (4) Payment of salaries of employees who have been suspended or dismissed as a result of administrative or disciplinary action, or separated from the service through no fault of their own and who have been subsequently exonerated and reinstated by virtue of decisions of competent authority; (5) Cash awards to deserving officials and employees in accordance with civil service law; (6) Salary adjustments of officials and employees as a result of classification action under, and implementation of, the provisions of the Compensation and Position Classification Act, including positions embraced under the Career Executive Service; (7) Peso support to any undertaking that may be entered into by the government with international organizations, including administrative and other incidental expenses; (8) Covering any deficiency in peso counterpart fund commitments for foreign assisted projects, as may be approved by the President; (9) Priority activities that will promote the economic well being of the nation, including food production, agrarian reform, energy development, disaster relief, and rehabilitation. (10) Repair, improvement and renovation of government buildings and infrastructure and other capital assets damaged by natural calamities; (11) Expenses in connection with official participation in trade fairs, civic parades, celebrations, athletic competitions and cultural activities, and payment of expenses for the celebration of regular or special official holidays; (12) Payment of obligations of the government or any of its departments or agencies as a result of final judgment of the Courts; and (13) Payment of valid prior year's obligations of government agencies with any other government office or agency, including government-owned or controlled corporations.
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51. According to the DBM website, DAP is sourced from savings generated by the government. These savings were sourced from “(a) the pooling of unreleased appropriations such as unreleased Personnel Services appropriations which will lapse at the end of the year, unreleased appropriations of slow moving projects and discontinued projects per Zero-Based Budgeting findings; and (b) the withdrawal of unobligated allotments, also for slow-moving programs and projects, which have earlier been released to national government agencies.” 52. DBM 541 covers 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. 10147) and FY 2012 Current Appropriation (R.A. No. 10155)”. (3.0, DBM 541) 53. These funds that the DAP and the DBM 541 call as “savings” – the unreleased appropriations and unobligated allotments – are not actually savings following the strict formulation of the General Appropriation Laws passed by Congress through the years, thus Sec. 53. Meaning of Savings and Augmentation. Savings refer to portions or balances of any programmed appropriation in this Act free from any obligation or encumbrance which are: (i) still available after the completion or final discontinuance or abandonment of the work, activity or purpose for which the appropriation is authorized; (ii) from appropriation balances arising from unpaid compensation and related costs pertaining to vacant positions and leaves of absence without pay; and (iii) from appropriation balances realized from the implementation of measures resulting in improved systems and efficiencies and thus enabled agencies to meet and deliver the required or planned targets, programs and services approved in this Act at a lesser cost. xxx (GAA for FY 2013; The same definition is also provided in the GAA for FY 2012 [see Sec. 54] and FY 2011 [see Sec. 60]) 54. Following the above definition, there is no justification for the DAP and DBM 541, simply because there are no savings in both cases. C. THE DAP AND DBM 541 VIOLATE SEC. 25 (5), ART. VI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION 55. Section 25 (5) Article VI of the 1987 Constitution prohibits transfer of appropriations. This simply means that once Congress
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passes the General Appropriation Act (GAA) or any appropriation law, with or without any veto from the President, the same remains unalterable and must be executed to the letter. 56. The appropriations law becomes the law of the land, a product of the collective effort of the representatives of the people and the different government agencies. Not even Congress who passed it can alter the same, without under going the same tedious process of enacting a law. Such is the wisdom of our Constitution. 57. As a limited grant nevertheless, the Constitution allows the President, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions, to transfer of appropriations ONLY in specific circumstances: (1) if there is a law; (2) if there are savings; and (3) only to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices. 58. The creation and implementation of the DAP and the NCB 541 violate the above-stated provision. a. THERE IS NO APPROPRATION LAW CREATING THE DAP THERE IS NO LAW AUTHORIZING THE WITHDRAWAL AND TRANSFER OF UNRELEASED APPROPRIATIONS AND UNOBLIGATED ALLOTMENTS 59. There is no appropriation law mandating the DAP.

60. Based on the DBM website the DAP is a “stimulus package” under the AQUINO administration. It was “approved by the President on October 12, 2011 upon the recommendation of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) and the Cabinet Clusters.” 61. While being peddled as a “stimulus package”, the DAP is actually an appropriation law which seeks to set aside public funds for public use. As discussed above, Sec. 24 Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution requires that all appropriation bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives. The DAP, not being initiated by the House of Representatives, is unconstitutional. 62. Neither is there any law that authorizes Respondents to withdraw and transfer appropriations.

 

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63. Respondents claim that the provisions of EO 292 and GAA for FY 2012 and 2013 on impoundment and use of savings are sufficient legal basis for the creation and implementation of DAP and NBC 541. They are wrong. 64. Regarding the authority to impound, the GAA restricts the exercise of impoundment, and only allows it in case of the existence of an “unmanageable national government budget deficit”. Sec. 64. Prohibition Against Impoundment of Appropriations. No appropriations authorized under this Act shall be impounded through retention or deduction, unless in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by the DBM: PROVIDED, That all the funds appropriated for the purposes, programs, projects and activities authorized under this Act, except those covered under the Unprogrammed Fund, shall be released pursuant to Section 33 (3), Chapter 5, Book VI of E.O. No. 292. Sec. 65. Unmanageable National Government Budget Deficit. Retention or deduction of appropriations authorized in this Act shall be effected only in cases where there is an unmanageable national government budget deficit. Unmanageable national government budget deficit as used in this section shall be construed to mean that (i) the actual National Government budget deficit has exceeded the quarterly budget deficit targets consistent with the full-year target deficit as indicated in the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing submitted by the President and approved by Congress pursuant to Section 22, Article VII of the Constitution, or (ii) there are clear economic indications of an impending occurrence of such condition, as determined by the Development Budget Coordinating Committee and approved by the President. 65. In this case, there was no actual budget deficit which has “exceeded the quarterly budget deficit targets” nor “clear economic indications of an impending occurrence of such condition” which would justify DAP and NBC 541. b. THERE ARE NO SAVINGS WHATSOEVER 66. Respondents claim that the DAP and the NBC 541 pertain to funds coming from “savings”. The funds that the DAP and the DBM 541 call as “savings” – the unreleased appropriations and unobligated allotments – are not actually savings and could never become savings.

 

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67. A study of the definition of savings in our appropriations law through the years would show that the interpretation of Respondents is so flawed and so contrary to the definition of savings that it amounts to bad faith and malice. Sec. 53. Meaning of Savings and Augmentation. Savings refer to portions or balances of any programmed appropriation in this Act free from any obligation or encumbrance which are: (i) still available after the completion or final discontinuance or abandonment of the work, activity or purpose for which the appropriation is authorized; (ii) from appropriation balances arising from unpaid compensation and related costs pertaining to vacant positions and leaves of absence without pay; and (iii) from appropriation balances realized from the implementation of measures resulting in improved systems and efficiencies and thus enabled agencies to meet and deliver the required or planned targets, programs and services approved in this Act at a lesser cost. xxx (GAA for FY 2013; The same definition is also provided in the GAA for FY 2012 [see Sec. 54] and FY 2011 [see Sec. 60]) 68. In essence, savings could only happen when the project for which the fund was appropriated was ACTUALLY implemented – whether the same was completed, discontinued or abandoned later on. The important element is the actual execution of the project. 69. In the case of unreleased appropriations and unobligated allotments, the project for which the funds was appropriated was never executed or was deferred, making it impossible for the department or agency to realize savings through that project. 70. Further, savings can never be realized with certainty at the middle of fiscal year, or even before the end of the fiscal year. This interpretation is even seconded and acknowledged by the Office of the President during the budget deliberation of the said Office for its 2014 budget in the House of Representatives in September 2013. c. THE TRANSFER OF “SAVINGS” WILL BE TO AGENCIES/DEPARTMENTS OTHER THAN THE AGENCIES/DEPARTMENTS ACCUMULATING THE SAVINGS IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE CONSTITUTION 71. Section 25(5) Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution is explicit and categorical when it states the limitations on transfer of appropriations.

 

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72. As an exception, “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 appropriations.” 73. What this provision only allows is “augmentation” 7 and only within the respective “offices”8 of the President, President of the Senate, etc. Thus, AQUINO can only augment from savings derived by the Office of the President the items also of the Office of the President. He cannot give it to other departments or agencies. 74. This interpretation is supported by the Supreme Court decision in the case of Demetria v. Alba, which struck down as unconstitutional Sec. 44 of PD 1177 empowering the President to indiscriminately transfer funds. The questioned provision states “The President shall have the authority to transfer any fund, appropriated for the different departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the Executive Department, which are included in the General Appropriations Act, to any program, project or activity of any department, bureau, or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment.” 75. The Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the above provision saying The leeway granted was thus limited. The purpose and conditions for which funds may be transferred were specified, i.e. transfer may be allowed for the purpose of augmenting an item and such transfer may be made only if there are savings from another item in the appropriation of the government branch or constitutional body.
                                                                                                                7  Sec.  53  Meaning  of  savings  and  augmentation.     xxx   Augmentation  implies  the  existence  in  this  Act  of  a  program,  activity,  or  project  with   an  appropriation,  which  upon  implementation  or  subsequent  evaluation  of  needed   resources,  is  determined  to  be  deficient.  In  no  case  shall  a  non-­‐existent  program,   activity,   or   project,   be   funded   by   augmentation   from   savings  or   by   the   use   of   appropriations   otherwise   authorized   in   this   Act.   (GAA   for   FY   2013;   The   same   definition  is  also  provided  in  the  GAA  for  FY  2012  [see  Sec.  54]  and  FY  2011  [see  Sec.   60])     8  Sec.  2  Introductory  Provisions   (9)  Office  refers,  within  the  framework  of  governmental  organization,  to  any  major   functional   unit   of   a   department   or   bureau   including   regional   offices.   It   may   also   refer   to   any   position   held   or   occupied   by   individual   persons,   whose   functions   are   defined  by  law  or  regulation.  (EO  292)       23  

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Paragraph 1 of Section 44 of P.D. No. 1177 unduly over extends the privilege granted under said Section 16[5]. It empowers the President to indiscriminately transfer funds from one department, bureau, office or agency of the Executive Department to any program, project or activity of any department, bureau or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment, without regard as to whether or not the funds to be transferred are actually savings in the item from which the same are to be taken, or whether or not the transfer is for the purpose of augmenting the item to which said transfer is to be made. It does not only completely disregard the standards set in the fundamental law, thereby amounting to an undue delegation of legislative powers, but likewise goes beyond the tenor thereof. Indeed, such constitutional infirmities render the provision in question null and void. 76. DAP and NBC 541 utter fail to comply with the constitutional limits with respect to the use of savings. DAP and NBC 541 allow “savings” to augment budget items outside the “respective offices” from which the savings were realized, and worse, to fund new budget items not considered in the previous GAA. 77. The DBM website informs us

What kind of projects are funded through the DAP? The programs and projects submitted to the DBM must meet the following conditions: a) Fast-moving or quick-disbursing, e.g. the payment of obligations incurred from premium subsidy for indigent families in the National Health Insurance Program; b) Urgent or priority in terms of social and economic development objectives, e.g. the upgrading of equipment and facilities for specialty hospitals, rehabilitation of Light Rail Transit and Metro Rail Transit, and the Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) program of DOST; c) Programs or projects performing well and could deliver more services to the public with the additional funds e.g. Training for Work Scholarship Program of DOLE-TESDA. Some of the items funded through the DAP are expenditures which are mandated by law, such as capital infusion for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (R.A. 7653, Section 2) out of the augmented Budgetary Support to Government CorporationsOthers. (Frequently Asked Questions about DAP)

 

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78. While the 5.7.3 of the NBC 541 authorizes the funding of “priority programs and projects not considered in the 2012 budget but expected to be started or implemented during the current year.” 79. Verily, transfer or realignment of “savings” to these kinds of programs and projects not considered in the 2012 budget are in utter violation of the constitution. It is tantamount to an appropriation law which is clearly a legislative mandate and not the function of Respondents. D. THE DAP AND NBC 541 VIOLATE SEC. 27 ART. VI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION 80. Before the GAA becomes a law, the Constitution mandates that the same be presented to the President, who has the power to veto any particular item or items in the appropriation bill. If the President exercises the veto power, Congress is given the opportunity to override the veto. Sec. 27, Art. VI, 1987 Constitution (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President. If he approves the same he shall sign it; otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the House where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, twothirds of all the Members of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the Members voting for or against shall be entered in its Journal. The President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty days after the date of receipt thereof, otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had signed it. (2) The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object. 81. The President is given the power to item-veto the particulars, details, the distinct and severable parts of the appropriation bill. 82. However, item-veto is available to the President only before an appropriation bill becomes a law. If the President does not exercise the item-veto and the appropriation bill becomes a law, then
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he is bound to execute the law faithfully as is mandated to him by the Constitution. 83. The DAP and the NBC 541 are executive creations which are noxious to this constitutional process. The funds from which the Respondents intended to impound and transfer, or were actually impounded and transferred, were funds appropriated by Congress through the General Appropriations Acts for FY 2011, 2012 and 2013. 84. The DAP and the NBC 541 are actually unilateral executive amendments to duly enacted appropriation laws, which Respondents have no authority or power to do. Not even Congress can amend the appropriation laws without passing an amendatory law in accordance with the Constitutional procedures. CONLUSION 85. The call to abolish the pork barrel system continue to intensify and the people’s actions take different forms -- through court action, mobilization, resort to people’s initiative, and if necessary even impeachment of the President. This present Petition questioning Respondents’ realignment of public funds amounting to billions of pesos is also an effort contributing to the people’s call to abolish the pork barrel system. 86. The pork barrel system, we maintain, consists not only of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) currently being litigated by this Honorable Court, but also of the bigger presidential pork barrel amounting to at least P900 Billion. As of the filing of this present Petition, the pork barrel system remains in the national budget. 87. The funds accumulated through the DAP and by virtue of NBC 541 is also part of the presidential pork barrel, wherein AQUINO has the sole discretion where the funds will go and used for patronage politics. It is very apparent that the DAP was used for patronage politics, if not graft and corruption. A concrete example of this is how P50 Million or more was given as “incentive” to senators who voted to impeach Corona, while the rest did not receive any. 88. Additionally, we cannot help but comment on the sorry state of the Philippine budget system, characterized not only to fiscal dictatorship by the President as exemplified by the unbridled and illegal realignment of funds discussed above, but also of fiscal hocus pocus. Yearly, national government agencies and departments request for hundreds of millions or billions of pesos, equipped as they were for the grilling during the budget deliberations in Congress and fought tooth and nail to justify their request. And yet, at the end of the
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fiscal year these same agencies and departments accumulate millions and/or billions worth of savings! 89. From the foregoing, it is necessary for this Honorable Court to declare the illegality and unconstitutionality of the DAP and the NBC 541. GROUNDS FOR ISSUANCE OF A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND/OR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION 90. Petitioners likewise move for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or a Temporary Restraining Order to enjoin Respondents from implementing the DAP in order to protect the substantive rights and interests of Petitioners while the case is pending before this Honorable Court. Since Respondents already reiterated that DAP will continue to be implemented, then there exists an extreme necessity for the Honorable Court to issue a writ or a TRO. 91. Public funds have already been disbursed much to the prejudice of the rights of Petitioners. The DBM reported a total of P142.23 Billion spent so far under the DAP, with P83.53 Billion spent in 2011 and another P 58.7 Billion in 2012. These huge amounts were spent on budgetary items many of which were not in the 2011 or 2012 GAA passed by Congress. These items include the following: i. 15.13 Billion was released to the DILG “for modernization of the PNP” and “redevelopment of Roxas Boulevard”. ii. P4.5 Billion for MRT 3 to purchase “additional train cars”, when in fact, according to the DOTC, there will be no additional train cars until the end of the term of Pres. Aquino. iii. P1.82 Billion for the CPLA and MNLF through the amorphous PAMANA fund. iv. P26.9 Billion for GOCCs. These GOCCs have Billions as budgetary support under the Special Purpose Funds of the GAA, and another Billions in the Unprogrammed Funds, will again be given a huge amount under DAP. This is surely unconscionable. v. P8.5 Billion “stimulus fund” for ARMM on top of its regular budget of P11.8 Billion. These additional Billions were not found in the 2012 budget vi. P 625 Million just to conduct a survey on farmers and fisherfolks by DAR and DA

 

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vii. Billions given to legislators including the P50-100 Million given to Senators as incentive in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. viii. P1.29 Billion for “Agrarian Reform Communities Project 2 of the DAR. 92. Petitioners were able to clearly show that they are entitled to the issuance of an injunctive relief for having complied with the requirement set forth by the Rules, to wit: (a) the invasion of right sought to be protected is material and substantial; (b) the right of the complainant is clear and unmistakable; and (c) there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage.9 93. Because of the usurpation by Respondents of the legislative’s power of appropriation and transfer of appropriation under the Constitution, Petitioners’ rights as taxpayer and legislator have been violated. They sustained and will continue to sustain personal and substantial injury, necessitating the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction against the implementation of the DAP, in order to prevent further damage

PRAYER WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court the following: (1) That this Petition be given due course (2) That a temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction be issued to restrain the Respondents from implementing the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the National Budget Circular No. 541 during the pendency of this Petition; (3) That after notice and hearing, a final order be issued declaring as NULL AND VOID the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the National Budget Circular No. 541; and permanently enjoining Respondents from implementing the DAP and NBC 541. Other reliefs just and equitable under the circumstances are likewise prayed for. Respectfully submitted. Quezon City for Manila. October 11, 20
                                                                                                                9  PSBA  vs  Tolentino-­‐Genilo,  G.R.  No.  159277    December  21,  2004.     28  

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ATTY. JOVENCIO H. EVANGELISTA
Counsel for Petitioners No. 45 K-7 St., Brgy. West Kamias, Quezon City email: evangelista_law@yahoo.com PTR No. 1444212; 01.10.13; Manila IBP No. 836618; 01.10.13; Manila MCLE Compliance No. IV-0007340; 08.10.12 Attorney’s Roll No. 42797
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ATTY. VANESSA QUIAMBAO MAGUIGAD
Counsel for Petitioners No. 45 K-7 St., Brgy. West Kamias, Quezon City Mobile No. 0906-3288104 email: anet_maguigad@yahoo.com IBP No. 836619; 01.10.13, Manila Chapter III PTR No. 1444212; 01.10.13, Manila MCLE Compliance No. IV-0007341; 08.10.12 Attorney’s Roll No. 58291, 05-04-10
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MARIA CRISTINA P. YAMBOT
Counsel for Petitioners No. 45 K-7 St., Brgy. West Kamias, Quezon City PTR No. 9611432/01-07-13/Rizal IBP No. 922644/01-08-13/Rizal Roll No. 59700 MCLE Compliance No. IV – 0016616/04-11-13
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EXPLANATION OF SERVICE OF PETITION THROUGH REGISTERED MAIL The service of copies of the instant Petition is made through registered mail, as personal service thereof cannot be made due to distance and lack of available personnel. This explanation is made pursuant to Rule 13, Section 11 of the Rules of Court.

MARIA CRISTINA P. YAMBOT

 

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