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Cayetano: PNoy may have lost a battle, but he is winning the war against corruption

By Office of the Senate Majority Leader
July 6, 2014

PASAY CITY – “Although Malacañang lost the battle, I think they have won the war.”

Senate Majority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said this as he welcomed the recent decision of the Supreme Court declaring specific acts under the President Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

“Malacañang lost in the sense that mali na na-augment nang walang item sa budget, mali na i-consider ito na savings na hindi pa nagagastos... But it shows that democracy is alive, it shows checks and balances, it shows the respect of the President sa Supreme Court, kaya dapat sundin natin ang desisyon ng Supreme Court,” the senator said.

The Chief Executive and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad have earlier defended the controversial initiative, saying it was necessary to fast-track growth in the economy.

This, however, was criticized by SC justices, who pointed out that the cross-border transfer of funds from one government branch to another was not allowed in the Constitution.

Following the high court’s decision, several groups have expressed their dismay over the President and the budget chief for implementing the stimulus fund. Some advocates also called for Abad’s resignation and for Aquino’s impeachment.

But Cayetano believed that instead of considering the decision as a defeat by the current administration, people should look at it as one of Aquino’s great achievements insofar as the justice system in the country is concerned.

“The decision shows that the justice system works… Noong panahon ng Arroyo administration, either hindi yan i-take up o patay-malisya lang,” he said.

Reacting to calls for an impeachment trial against the President, the Senate leader said Aquino cannot be held culpable for merely adopting what the previous administrations did, adding that the money which was allotted to fund several projects were spent in good faith and were not stolen.

“Iba yung ninakaw mo, iba yung in good faith. Ginawa mo ang akala mong tama, pero sinabi ng Supreme Court, mali ang proseso. Agree ako na mali, agree ako na Kongreso ang dapat mag-appropriate. But disagree ako sa nagpapalabo ng isyu na sinasabing ikulong na ang mga yan dahil hindi naman nila ninakaw ang pera,” he said.

“The DAP was an honest mistake on the part of Malacañang because they adopted what the previous administrations did. Some constitutional bodies and other departments also did the same thing. Mauubos ang nasa gobyerno kung tuwing merong unconstitutional, ipapakulong niyo sila, kasi ang illegal, immoral at unconsititutional, magkakaiba yun… Let's be reasonable, let's welcome the decision and implement it fully but let's not go overboard,” he added.