TAGUM CITY—Various groups on Wednesday wanted the architects of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Fund or DAP which was declared yesterday as “unconstitutional” by the High Court to be investigated and prosecuted.

The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said that DAP authors must be held accountable for what they described as “large-scale corruption, bribery and malversation of public funds.”

“The latest SC decision should now pave the way for holding President Aquino and DBM secretary Butch Abad accountable. They are the principal authors of DAP who should be investigated,” said Renato M. Reyes, Jr. Bayan secretary general.

Reyes said “Malacanang cannot claim the SC ruling as a victory for its fiscal dictatorship and impunity. The ruling does not exculpate the President.”

Bayan, in response to the High Court’s “modifications” ruling, claimed that the DAP by and large remains unconstitutional. The ruling on illegally declared savings and the illegal cross-border transfer of funds were upheld.

Bayan’s statement came after the High Court on Tuesday upheld its July 2014 ruling which declared DAP as unconstitutional.

Tuesday’s High Court ruling deemed at least three provisions, among others, which opponents of DAP branded as “President’s Pork Barrel” namely: the “cross-border” transfer of savings by the executive branch; withdrawal of un-obligated funds and their declaration as savings; and the funding of projects, activities and programs not covered by the General Appropriations Act.

For Bayan, the decision of the High Court “vindicates the complainants in the impeachment case against Aquino.”

“The impeachment proceedings should have been allowed to continue to determine the extent of the liability of the President in illegally declaring savings and treating the funds as the president’s pork barrel,” the group said.

For his part, CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Wednesday said that “those who knowingly and deliberately misused public funds in a manner declared illegal by the Supreme Court should now be investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted.”

The CBCP has also renewed the call for a government that truly serves the nation by avoiding all forms of corruption and deceit. (davaotoday.com)

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