Malacanang apologists were quiet for a while after the Supreme Court declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional. They were most likely too stumped to respond because for one, they could not get their heads around the technical details of the ruling and two; they were probably too shocked after the revelation that their idol, President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino violated the Constitution. In short, the world as they knew it was starting to crumble.
But now a few of the President’s most rabid supporters have come out to defend their “hero”. The ruling of the highest court in the land doesn’t matter to them. When it comes to Aquino supporters, the DAP “must have been an honest mistake” or came about “more because of an ignorance of the constitution” or that “maybe the Supreme Court made a mistake”.
Some of the DAP defenders like Publicist Yoly Ong come across as someone who doesn’t really understand the issue on DAP. In an article she recently posted on Rappler, she quotes other people’s opinions on the matter without even trying to explain it in her own words. She peppered her article with quotes as if she just wanted to consolidate the parts that were favorable to DAP and its architects.
Ong quoted Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban without bothering to explain what he meant. She doesn’t seem to understand that the President’s claim that the execution of the DAP was done in “good faith” still has to pass the test. Meaning, they have to prove “good faith”, which is not easy since any criminal can claim “good faith” as a motive. If good faith is enough to justify a criminal act, then a murderer can justify killing another person using it as an excuse.
Ong also quoted journalist and part-time “conspiracy theorist” Raissa Robles as if the latter is a highly credible source of facts. The only commentary that we can consider Ong’s original thought in her article was her insinuation that the mess that President BS Aquino and Abad is in is the handiwork of his enemies. In other words, she was grasping at straws.
Yes, Ong is blaming the controversy surrounding DAP on the President’s so-called enemies. To Ong, it is simply “good versus evil” with BS Aquino and Abad as the “good”. Her rationalization says a lot about her character, indeed. As the saying goes, “beware when wrong-doing is called good and right-doing is called evil.”
It seems Ong thinks that those who criticize the President are not after what is right for the Filipino people. She seems to think that BS Aquino’s critics just want to bring him down. And that is where she is wrong. His critics point to his errors so he can do what is necessary to correct it including apologizing to the public.
Ong’s line of thinking is proof that Filipinos like her still do not understand the concept behind democracy. She objects to the idea of entertaining opposing views. She is acting like a fanatic – someone with a single-minded view of what is right. She wants us to believe that what President BS Aquino and his Budget Secretary did was trivial and should be dismissed because to her, the end justifies the means anyway.
People like Ong will only believe BS Aquino’s version of events especially the ones she cannot grasp. Unfortunately, BS Aquino and his mouthpieces are quite the revisionists. They claim that growth contracted for three quarters in 2011 due to “the delayed implementation of priority programs and projects and inefficient disbursements among others.” Of course that claim is not true. The growth contracted because of the government’s decision to put programs and projects on hold in 2011.
As soon as BS Aquino came into power, public infrastructure projects initiated by the previous administration were put on hold seemingly out of spite. He also wanted to show the public that he was adopting austerity measures to get “pogi” points. Apparently, this backfired because the Philippine economy grew by only 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011. It was a significant drop in growth compared to the 7.3% growth in 2010. BS Aquino’s supporters should not believe everything their master says.
If the DAP was really done in good faith, how come no one ever heard of the program prior to Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s privilege speech in September 2013? None of the Senators – members of Congress who supposedly hold the “power of the purse” knew about the DAP. That alone says that DAP was not done in good faith. The fact that BS Aquino is unwilling to apologize for violating the constitution is also proof that DAP was not done in good faith.
Raissa Robles, another apologist who admitted to working on a defense for DAP for several days dug up the Administrative Code of 1987 as a possible explanation for the DAP:
SECTION 49. Authority to Use Savings for Certain Purposes. – Savings in the appropriations provided in the General 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 the Secretary in accordance with rules and procedures as may be approved by the President
Robles’ explanation won’t fly. Malacanang never mentioned the Administrative Code in their defense of the DAP. If they had the Administrative Code in mind when they decided to transfer funds liberally from one office to another, why didn’t they mention it to the Supreme Court? They didn’t even mention it in any of their press releases. It’s a lame excuse considering the Code states that “as may be approved in accordance…with rules and procedures”. The code is vague but what is clear is that any movement of funds still has to go through the proper procedure according to the rules.
Another Malacanang apologist Solita Monsod was very good at dismissing calls for accountability of DAP. She sang praises for Abad and also did some revisions in recent events and claimed that the Executive already abolished the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) even before the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional earlier in 2014.
Monsod forgot to mention that the Executive only abolished PDAF after public uproar erupted and the massive anti-pork rally dubbed “million people march”. It was only abolished after the revelation that members of Congress used bogus NGOs run by Janet Lim Napoles so they can in turn pocket millions of taxpayers’ money. In fact, BS Aquino and some of the Senators were trying to justify keeping the PDAF prior to the Supreme Court’s decision. Senator Franklin Drilon even went on record to say that Congress is useless without the pork:
“What will happen if we will not take a direct hand (in the identification of projects)? Let’s just abolish Congress then.”
As predicted, President BS Aquino and his Malacanang mouthpieces have started spinning the Supreme Court’s decision their way. They have included the landmark decision in their list of “successes” in their so-called “crusade” against corruption. Never mind that some of the President’s allies attempted to justify giving and receiving pork barrel funds by insisting that pork helps continue the nationwide scholarship and medical assistance programs initiated by some members of Congress in the past. Congressmen Ben Evardone and Niel Tupas even filed a petition with the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order on the pork so they can access the frozen funds allocated for the remainder of 2013. They probably feel like losers now.
It is easy to spot a BS Aquino apologist. They skip a lot of the important details and they avoid bringing up the 50 million peso “incentive” or bribe given to the Senators after the conviction of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
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