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Araullo v. Hon.

President Aquino III government projects, and thus,

G.R. No. 209237 accelerated economic expansion as
July 1, 2014 reported by the Supreme Court. It was
February 3, 2015 also claimed in DBM’s website that
sources of DAP came from
Section 25 (5), Article VI of the 1987 unprogrammed funds by the Congress
Constitution - No law shall be passed under GAAs of 2011, 2012 and 2013.
authorizing any transfer of
appropriations; however, the Due to the revelation of Sen. Estrada
President, the President of the Senate, and reaction of Secretary Abad, the
the Speaker of the House of DAP controversy angered the nation
Representatives, the Chief Justice of and prompted nine petitions
the Supreme Court, and the heads of criticizing its constitutionality. Maria
Constitutional Commissions may, by Carolina Araullo, Chairperson of
law, be authorized to augment any Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and
item in the general appropriations law petitioner, along with other concerned
for their respective offices from citizens argued that it was
savings in other items of their unconstitutional as it violated the Sec.
respective appropriations. 29, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution
that provided “No money shall be paid
Section 29, Article VI of the 1987 out of the Treasury except in
Constitution - No money shall be paid pursuance of an appropriation made
out of the Treasury except in by law.”
pursuance of an appropriation made
by law. Secretary Abad pointed out that
“savings” have legal bases and these
Facts: were: Section 25 (5), Article VI of the
Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada made a 1987 Constitution; Section 49 and
revelation on September 25, 2013 Section 38, Chapter 5, Book VI of
claiming that he and some Senators Executive Order No. 292; and General
were given P50 Million each as Appropriations Acts (GAAs) 2011,
“incentive” in favor of Chief Justice 2012 and 2013.
Renato Corona’s impeachment. In
response to that, Secretary Florencio Issue:
Abad of the DBM said that the money I. Whether there is a
was requested by the Senators for controversy ripe for judicial
funding and taken from Disbursement determination and the
Acceleration Program (DAP), a standing petitioners in
program by DBM to stimulate the relation to NBC No. 541
Philippine economy. Basically, DAP II. Whether or not certiorari
authorizes the Executive to withdraw and prohibition are proper
the money from slow moving projects remedies to assail the
and declare that as “savings”. From constitutionality and
there, the “savings” will be allotted to validity of the NBC No. 541
priority or fast-disbursing projects. III. Whether or not NBC No.
With that, it speeds the funding of 541 violates Section 25 (5)
Art. IV of the 1987 addressing and resolving
Constitution the serious constitutional
IV. Whether or not there is questions raised.
factual and legal III. Yes. GAAs of 2011 and 2012
justification to issue a lacked the valid provision
Temporary Restraining to which can authorize the
Order against NBC No. 541 transfer of funds between
V. Whether or not DAP the branches of
violated Sec. 25 (5), Art. VI government. Also, no
of the 1987 Constitution. “savings” from which funds
VI. Whether or not the can be derived from can be
Doctrine of Operative Fact sourced towards NBC No.
is applicable. 541 and as such, no funds
could derive from which
Held: can be given to the missing
I. Yes. There is controversy in articles of the GAAs.
the point where the Moreover, cross-border of
petitioner is incompatible, funds from savings as done
specifically claiming the are unconstitutional.
unconstitutionality of NBC IV. Yes. In the absence of the
No. 541, with that of the conditions on
respondents (the unprogrammed funds, its
Executive). In this light, use would be declared as
public funds have been void.
claimed by the petitioners V. No. DAP is simply a
that allocated, disbursed or program, it is not a fund nor
utilized by reason or on appropriation. Besides,
account of such executive there were no additional
acts, present aptly the right funds withdrawn from the
of the Court to adjudicate Treasury because it merely
on the cases whereby it has realigned the funds
jurisdiction over such cases appropriated for by the
involving the grave abuse of GAA.
any branch of Government VI. Yes. The Doctrine of
of its appropriated duties Operative Fact, which
and functions. recognizes the existence of
II. Yes. In consideration of the law or executive act prior to
gravity of the issue which its unconstitutionality or
centers in the Chief sustains the effects of void
Executive’s use of public law, is applicable. The
funds, whether application to DAP
appropriated or not, the proceeds from equity, fair
Court then partially grants play and good faith. Aside
for the certiorari and from that, reversing the
prohibition so as to remove actions under DAP may
the impediment in cause more harm than
good. It has to be
remembered though that it
cannot apply to authors,
implementers and
proponents of DAP if there
are findings in the proper
tribunals (criminal, civil,
administrative and other
liabilities) that they have
not acted in good faith.