NEWS NOTES
Calamity fund 114B vs. DAP funds 480M


What is the difference in Gov Degamo’s using P480Million in calamity fund and Pres PNOy Aquino’s (mis)use of P144-Billion in DAP funds or the Disbursement Acceleration Fund?

Big difference and big similarities.

Firstly, both are executive officers, authorized to disburse big funds.

Second, the calamity fund which Gov Degamo insisted in using was constitutional and legal funds. While the DAP funds used or mis-used by Pres . Aquino (by his order and approval ) was unconstitutional and illegal said the Supreme Court in finality.

Third, while Degamo disbursed legal funds , he was dismissed because of his act of “defiance.” But for PNOy, his act of disbursing P144-BILLION in DAP funds was declared ILLEGAL. In a similar vein, will PNoy not also be sacked and be held liable after his term expires on June 30? —like what happened to Degamo?

Legal circles should consider playing with this legal ballgame because surely these will be one for the books again.

In fact PNoy is ready with his legal defense by saying “ the DAP which diverted government savings to other projects not included in the General Appropriations Act—to boost economic growth—— benefited all Filipinos. How can that be wrong? These were also practiced by my predecessors.”

On the other hand how can DEGAMO also be wrong if he used P480MILLION calamity funds, released by President PNoy himself, and was spent for its specific purpose, that of rehabilitating the typhoon struck areas by Sendong. Degamo did not divert the funds, as PNoy did illegally in DAP.

The Supreme Court ruled that “it is unconstitutional to declare as savings funds in the middle of the year, transferring such funds from one department to another in violation of the constitutional ban on crossover fund transfers, especially those not in the national budget as approved by Congress.”

In short, PNoy illegaly transferred funds from one department to another, even if such fund were not yet used up at mid-year. But he said, it was good for economic growth and relied on the principle of “presumption of regularity.”

Judge for yourselves then: here is a governor and a president who used millions and billions of funds , one for its intended purpose, and the other, for another purpose than it was intended, and declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

Who is now more guilty of violating the rule of law? Degamo, or , Aquino?

DUTERTE RULES’

President-elect Duterte has directed his new justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to “apply the law equally and file charges regardless of the power or influence under the controversial DAP.” Aguirre said, yes.

Now facing malversation charges in line with DAP are Budget Sec Butch Abad and his Usec Mario Relampagos but excluded President Aquino who signed all the DAP releases.

In a SIMILAR VEIN, ex-Pres Gloria Arroyo also signed PCSO fund releases for bigtime projects not covered by the PCSO charter, but was charged and is now on hospital arrest until today. Will PNoy be exempted from this predicament “if we apply the law equally?”

Before June 30, PNoy is immune from all kind of law suits. But after June 30, he will be an ordinary citizen subject to all laws of the land. (By Ely P. Dejaresco)


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