The series of wanton street killings with impunity have resumed anew in Dumaguete. The other week, a father and his son-in-law were killed by two burglars who stole their fighting cocks early morning while the victims tried to pursue them. The Sunday following, the two suspects were liquidated in the streets of the city. That makes four killed. On the same Sunday last week, a suspected drug pusher was also killed and the official driver of geothermal barangay of Puhagan was stabbed to death several times until he expired at the hospital.
Commission on Human Rights Special Investigator Jesus A. Canete condemned the recent spate of summary killings and shootings in the capital city and elsewhere, in particular after six people violently died in a span of just five days.
The CHR deplores that the “recent killings portrayed a community long known as a ‘City of Gentle People’ into a quagmire of uncertainties expectant of the next news item on who the next victim shall be” and has started to “complete the message of encouragement to perpetrators that the act of killing ‘social misfits’ is beneficial to the community and that any act of serious action against it is unpopular.”
The latest killings come five days after the death of a father and his son-in-law by alleged thieves of fighting cocks in Barangay Candau-ay, Dumaguete City. In Puhagan, Valencia, a barangay driver was repeatedly hacked and stabbed Sunday night (July 13) by about five suspects in front of the security outpost of the geothermal plant owned by the Energy Development Corporation.
The victim, Peter M. Garsula suffered about 9 deep hack wounds on his head and face, the blows were so severe that his right eye was detached from its socket. He was also stabbed in the neck and chest. Four doctors tried to revive him at the Holy Child Hospital but he expired four hours later mainly due to massive loss of blood. Only one of the suspects was arrested.
No less than the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is now calling on the President to respect the decision of the Supreme Court concerning the illegality of the presidential pork barrel called DAP.
It is embarrassing enough that no less than the President is said to be “picking up a fight” with the Supreme Court, a co-equal branch of government which is considered as the last bastion of democracy, and whose decision is respected by all to be the law of the land.
But not this president, and maybe the first in the Philippines. PNoy has openly and publicly insisted that his presidential pork, which is the Disbursement Acceleration Program is legal, even if the Supreme Court has ruled 13-0-1 otherwise.
Of course, he was just expressing his opinion. And he has the right to disagree. But, hey, he is THE president, and not Dodong Juan. His opinion can divide the country. When the President coughs, 53% of the nation who still support him “still catch cold.” —maka-ubo!
PNoy relies on the Administrative Code of l987, Exec Order 292, Book VI, Sec. 39 attesting DAP’s legality (kono) and what does it say? Provided in the General Appropriations Act, any savings in the regular appropriations authorized in the General Appropriations Act for programs and projects of any department, office or agency, may, with the approval of the President, be used to cover a deficit in any other item of the regular appropriations: Provided, that the creation of new positions or increase of salaries shall not be allowed to be funded from budgetary savings except when specifically authorized by law: Provided, further, that whenever authorized positions are transferred from one program or project to another within the same department, office or agency, the corresponding amounts appropriated for personal services are also deemed transferred, without, however increasing the total outlay for personal services of the department, office or agency concerned.SECTION 39. Authority to Use Savings in Appropriations to Cover Deficits.—Except as otherwise
Does this look like DAP? It merely talks about budgets of the SAME department and mostly about salary realignment, and “savings” are realized in December not in June.
This is the first time when only a few heard the highest official of the land who, instead of, in the spirit of the rule of law, being the first to abide by the ruling of the highest tribunal of the land, the Supreme Court, was the first to publicly disagree with its ruling.
But in fairness to the President whom we suspect was just trying to exercise his freedom of speech, aired his voice of disagreement with the Supreme Court ruling against the Disbursement Acceleration Program which was declared illegal and unconstitutional by the highest tribunal. Be reminded too that earlier the same Supreme Court declared the legislators’ PDAF funds also as illegal as the DAP. Worse, the president accepted the similar decision of unconstitutionality of the PDAF, yet he disagreed when, it was his own presidential pork barrels turn to be declared illegal. Where is the consistency?
The worst part is that he disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling on DAP today. But, when he was senator, PNOy passed a bill which precisely prohibited what he just did with DAP now as president. Where is the consistency again? And the good faith?
For our part, we say that only four parts of the DAP were declared illegal, not everything, and these are: the transfer or early savings from various departments to his Malacañang’s pork barrel; the lack of congressional allocation for DAP and its instant projects; the failure to get the approval of the national treasurer; and fourth that he proceeded with reckless disregard as to its legal implications. And now PNoy self-declared that the Supreme Court made a mistake. Is he another Supreme Court?