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Palace: No law broken on DAP

President Aquino broke no law in carrying out the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), Malacañang said in brushing aside plans of the next government to investigate alleged culpability of officials for unconstitutional acts under the program.

“As Chief Executive, President Aquino faithfully followed the Constitution and the laws of the land,” Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

Coloma was reacting to media queries if the President and his men are ready to defend their actions related to the DAP in court.

Incoming Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre earlier bared plans to probe certain officials over unconstitutional acts committed under the controversial DAP. Aguirre said presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte directed him to apply the law equally and file charges regardless of the power or influence of the persons involved.

Even though the DAP was declared largely unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Coloma said there was presumption of regularity in the actions of the government.

“If we may recall, the Supreme Court upheld the motion for reconsideration filed through the Office of the Solicitor General, particularly on the operative fact doctrine. In that Decision, the Supreme Court categorically ruled and upheld the presumption of regularity in the implementation of the DAP,” he said.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled the parts of the DAP, including the use of savings in the middle of the year, were unconstitutional, dealing a large blow to Aquino’s economic stimulus program. Only the authors of the DAP can be held liable unless a proper tribunal found that they acted in good faith, the court said.

President Aquino publicly criticized the SC decision for derailing his economic reform agenda.