Transcript of Sen. Angara’s interview on DAP


Press Release
July 15, 2014



TRANSCRIPT OF SEN. ANGARA’S INTERVIEW ON DAP


Q: Reaction on PNoy’s speech on DAP?

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara: Although wala naman sinabing bago si Pangulo, palagay ko kinailangan yung speech niya kagabi para ma-summarize niya yung mga sinabi niya dati about the DAP. Number one, i-emphasize na hindi naman ito iligal. Ito’y dineclare na unconstitutional ngunit noong ito’y ipinapatupad, ito ay may basehan sa batas na naniniwala sila na in good faith na ipinatupad nila yung administrative code. Although sinabi nga ng Korte Suprema na mali ang interpretasyon ng ehekutibo.

Q: Defiant po ba ang speech ni PNoy?

SJEA: Well kung titingnan naman natin itong mga huling mga taon talagang ganoon ang relasyon ni Pangulong Noy sa Supreme Court. Talagang masasabi natin na may love-hate relationship yan. Palagay ko yan naman talaga ang essence ng democracy natin. Talagang yan ang role ng each branch of the government. May checks and balances talaga sa isa’t isa.

Q: May chances ba ang appeal nila?

SJEA: Hindi natin masisisi ang administrasyon kung gusto nilang iapela sapagkat malaki talaga ang nakasalalay dito. Malaking isyu ‘to. Although ako’y magugulat kung magbabaliktad ng desisyon ang Korte Suprema.

Q: Historically sir may nangyari na ba na nagbaliktad ng desisyon?

SJEA: Historically, ang naaalala ko lang yung desisyon ng Supreme Court sa Mining Act. But then again, I don’t think the original voting sa Mining Act hindi naman ata unanimous. Ang pagbaliktad ng Supreme Court, ng ilang justices dun, ay more of a response dun sa business community kasi nagreklamo yung business community. Sabi nila mali yung interpretation ng Korte Suprema sa Mining Act.

Q: Bakit pa po inaapela kung parang imposible namang mabaliktad yung desisyon?

SJEA: Anything is possible pero sa tingin ko, very unlikely in this case.

Q: Bakit po naging basehan yung administrative code?

SJEA: Yung administrative code, konting history lang dyan, yan ay ipinasa noong panahon ng nanay ni President Aquino at yan ay reiteration ng presidential decree ni President Marcos, yung PD 1177, yung Budgetary Act, at nakalagay dun, may provisions dun, na nakalagay yung kapangyarihan ng presidente na gamitin yung savings at pera ng gobyerno. Yun ang tinatawag ng mga propesor sa abugasya na power of impoundment. So kahit kami sa Kongreso, ang paniwala namin, malawak ng kapangyarihan ng pangulo na gamitin yung savings sa iba’t ibang sangay ng gobyerno. Ngunit dumating yung desisyon ng Supreme Court sa DAP at naklaruhan tayo kung ano talaga ang limitasyon ng kapangyarihan na iyon.

Q: Bilang kaalyado ng Pangulo, do you support his position on DAP?

SJEA: I support the president in the sense that when he was executing the DAP and releasing funds before the Supreme Court decision, in good faith yun at walang kumbaga, walang kaparusahan dun sa ginawa nila ni Secretary Abad sapagkat kami sa Kongreso, paniwala namin makatarungan at naaayon sa batas naman ang ginagawa nila. Pero ngayong nagsalita na ang Supreme Court, kailangan galangin natin once naging final yung decision.

Q: Hindi po ba contemptuous yun na bumabanat si PNoy kahit may SC ruling?

SJEA: Hindi contemptuous yun sapagkat si Pangulong Aquino ang head ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas at karapatan niya na ilabas ang kaniyang opinyon sa mga bagay-bagay.

Q: Huhupa na ba ang controversy sa DAP after ng speech ni PNoy?

SJEA: Palagay ko hindi pa huhupa ang kontrobersiya sa DAP. Maganda na inilabas ng administrasyong Aquino yung listahan ng mga proyektong pinondohan ng DAP sapagkat ang habol ng taumbayan ngayon ay makita talaga kung saan nagastos yung pera nila. So yun talaga ang bottomline ika nga. At palagay ko hindi huhupa yan hanggat hindi makita ng taumbayan na nagastos sa maayos yan. Although ako, I’m willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt dahil nakita ko naman in the past few years maayos naman yung patakbo ng pera.

Q: Pero sir sinasabi na dapat yung alter ego yung nagdedefend sa president hindi yung president nagdedepensa kay Butch Abad. Tama lang ba yung ginawa ni Butch Abad?

SJEA: Nakita natin si Pres. Aquino is a very hands-on president, very detail-oriented so talagang ganun yung style niya.

Q: Sir, may ibang nagsasabi na baka magkaroon ng constitutional crisis because of this. Is that very likely?

SJEA: I don’t see any constitutional crisis. It will only occur kapag sinuway ng Executive yung desisyon ng Supreme Court once naging final yun. Pero wala pa naman tayo dun.

Q: Sir, didn’t you find it disturbing, as a lawyer, that the president was challenging the decision of the Supreme Court. May threat ba that the third branch of government might have to intervene?

SJEA: Sinong third branch of government? Kami ba yun? Kami nalang naiwan (laughs). Well, could be. But that’s why the Constitution is there precisely to intervene in times like these. And of course, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the law. So whatever is the decision sa DAP, it must be respected. But there can be consequences. Like there are Constitutional mechanisms also available like, sabi nga nila, the result of the Supreme Court decision is to restore legislative power over appropriation so that includes scrutiny of the budget of the departments

Q: Sir, yung sinabi mo na dapat galangin yung desisyon ng Supreme Court, do you think the President, ginawa ba niya exactly yun kahapon?

SJEA: Well it’s not yet final. But I think the President was really speaking to the public, I don’t think he was speaking to lawyers, to the Supreme Court. He was trying to explain na iba yung DAP sa PDAF. Maganda yung hangarin dito at nung ipanatupad nito, may batas naman na nakabase yun.

Q: Naging respectful po ba ang pangulo?

SJEA: Well, respectful naman, sabi niya “mga kagalang-galang na mga huwes” di naman niyang sinabi na mga ul*l or mga g*go. (laughs)

Q: Sir, parang palaban yung dating niya…

SJEA: Well the President has always been that way, I think even if you look at the decisions of the Supreme Court previous to Chief Justice Corona’s removal. Ganun talaga siya magsalita when it comes to the Supreme Court kasi very passionate siya sa kanyang mga beliefs. Yun nga hindi lagi nananalo ang ehekutibo sa Korte Suprema. It’s just a functioning Constitution. I see it as a healthy democracy once gumanon. But at the end of the day, we all must comply with the interpretation.

Q: Sir hindi kaya palpak yung legal team ng pangulo?

SJEA: Well, ang ginawa naman ng legal team ng pangulo yun din ang ginagawa ng legal team ng mga dating pangulo. Ang nagbago lang binigyan ng pangalan ang paggamit ng savings, tinawag na disbursement acceleration program. Yun lang ang kinaiba pero yung paglipat ng savings sa ibang departamento, ginagawa ng lahat ng pangulo yun.

Q: Sir, you were one of the sponsors of the persecution team during the impeachment trial, did you receive DAP sir?

SJEA: Di ko alam if I received DAP. I received budgets every year when I was a congressman from 2004 to 2013.

Q: Pero walang additional sa PDAF?

SJEA: I received additional over the PDAF in those years kasi every year naman sumusulat ako, yung distrito ko naman nangangailangan talaga as being a poor province. I don’t know how much.

Q: During the impeachment po ni Chief Justice Corona?

SJEA: Before and after.

Q: Sir sabi ni Sen. Sergio Osmena pwedeng magkaroon ng constitutional crisis?

SJEA: Yes, if the president doesn’t obey the Supreme Court decision but it’s not yet final. We must emphasize the Supreme Court decision. Hindi pa final yan.

Q: Sir, hindi ba risky yung gagawin ng Malacanang iaapeal nila?

SJEA: Hindi risky. It’s a right provided sa ilalim ng batas. Karapatan ng bawat isa yun kahit ikaw kahit presidente, may karapatan na ganun.

Q: Sir, yung the way the president defends (inaudible)

SJEA: I’d rather not prejudge any kind of conflict syempre gusto ko we don’t reach that point.

Q: Sir is the president (inaudible) when he questioned the interpretation of the Supreme Court?

SJEA: The decision is final. All branches of government, all agencies of government interpret the law in the way that they see until the Supreme Court has a conflicting ruling. That’s what we call contemporaneous construction. We all do it.

Q: Sapat ba na reason yung administrative code and good faith para mareverse yung decision?

SJEA: Well I think that was already raised before but baka magbago ang isip ng ibang mahistrado after thinking it. But sabi ko nga, history and the odds don’t favor that kind of reversal.

Q: Makakabawi pa ba ang administrasyon?

SJEA: Palagay ko oo. I think this is a temporary setback. There’s still two years left in the Aquino administration.

Q: Ano yung factors kaya sumadsad yung kaniyang ratings?

SJEA: Well kasama na dito yung desisyon niya sa DAP, palagay ko yung pagtaas ng presyo. Malas lang na nagkasabay-sabay yung pagtaas ng presyo ng bawang, ng bigas.

Q: Should Secretary Abad resign?

SJEA: I think that issue has already been decided. We can say whatever we want, pero the fact is he’s not going to resign.

Q: Paano siya makakabawi?

SJEA: Well, pakita niya sa tao kung saan napunta yung pera. One thing under the Aquino administration malaki yung collections. So pakita niya na nagtatrabaho talaga siya para sa tao and yung mga programa ng bayan ay gumagana para sa taumbayan. Palagay ko that will be something that the people will take in his favor.

MEDIA: Sir considering… [inaudible]

SJEA: Well palagay ko medyo nagkaroon ng konting ano, may mga sumakay sa issue kasi. May mga nakikita ako na mga articles saying that the DAP is worse than the PDAF pero that remains to be seen until the COA comes up with a comprehensive audit of DAP to say that this was subject to a lot of corruption. Tingnan natin kasi nagrelease na ng pondo, and the Senate will have an investigation on Monday under Senator Chiz Escudero. So makikita talaga natin yung claims that the DAP was even worse than the PDAF. Tingin ko it remains to be seen at this point.

Q: Sir in hindsight, dapat ba mas naging malinaw…[inaudible]

SJEA: That would’ve helped kasi maraming nagrerequest ng listahan. Full disclosure of listings. Medyo natagalan ata sa pagbigay. So baka nagalit sila sa suspense.


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