JARDELEZA URGED TO INHIBIT SELF FROM DAP DELIBERATIONS
• August 22, 2014
• Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
• Published in Top Stories
THE House independent bloc yesterday appealed to newly-appointed Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza to begin his work with excellence by inhibiting from the High Tribunal’s deliberations on the final ruling of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the head of the bloc, explained Jardeleza’s independence will be questioned because he was the government’s main defender of DAP during an oral arguments before the SC which eventually ended to the declaration of its key provisions unconstitutional.
“It won’t look good if he will participate during DAP deliberations because he lawyered for it when he was still the Solicitor General. His objectiveness will be put to a very serious question,” Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) which was among the nine petitioners of DAP before the SC questioning its legality, explained.
“While it is a personal decision on his part, we hope that he observes sense of fairness by inhibiting from DAP proceedings,” Romualdez stressed.
Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, a member of Romualdez bloc, agreed with the opposition leader, saying Jardeleza can prove his independence by not participating from the motion for reconsideraion on DAP unconstitutional ruling that the SC is now deliberating.
“He will have to inhibit in this case as he lawyered for the government,” de la Cruz pointed out.
The SC outlawed parts of DAP, particularly its provisions on: withdrawal of unobligated allotment from implementing agencies and declaration of withdrawn allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to end of fiscal year; cross-border transfers of savings of Executive to augment appropriations of other offices outside of the Executive and funding of projects, activities and programs not covered by any appropriation in General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Earlier, Isabela Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano III and 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III, both members of the minority bloc, dared Jardeleza to inhibit from DAP discussions.
President Aquino appointed Jardeleza to fill the post vacated by Associate Justice Roberto Abad who retired at the mandatory age of 70 last May 22.
His appointment document was signed by President Aquino on August 19 and transmitted to the High Tribunal last Tuesday.
Jardeleza is 64 years old and has six years to serve as associate justice.