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Without Grace and Nancy, hearing would have been a charade

03:50 AM August 20, 2014

Methinks we can all agree that it was no less than the legislative department’s constitutional mandate over the budget—otherwise called the “power of the purse”—that was very clearly violated and usurped by the executive department through the much ballyhooed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). “But senators fail to ask hard questions at hearing,” (Front Page, 7/25/14) which took nearly seven hours last July 24.

Alas, can there be anything more ironic under a democratic regime than that?

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And alack, did not Senate President Franklin Drilon feel a bit of “chill” (read: “kinilabutan”) when, through his questioning, he unmistakably tried to elicit from Budget Secretary Butch Abad answers that bolstered the administration’s defense of the DAP?  In other words, it did not matter to him that Abad had made a big fool of the Senate that he leads.

Of course, what more indeed could be expected from Drilon and his ilk who are ending up their last senatorial terms but to side with President Aquino, even if they know, as most lawyers do, that they are clearly disregarding the time-honored system of checks and balances in our midst and times. Doing that, at the very least, one of them may perhaps still be hoping to be considered a candidate for vice president in President Aquino’s slate for the 2016 polls. Otherwise, they better start kissing their political aspirations goodbye.

It was reassuring, nevertheless, that there were new senators in the persons of Grace Poe and Nancy Binay who took turns in fairly and convincingly highlighting the defects of the DAP and in repeatedly putting the President’s clowns stammering on the defense. Indeed, without these two lady legislators, both non-lawyers at that, the DAP hearing would have been a big charade.

—RUDY L. CORONEL,

[email protected]

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TAGS: dap, Disbursement Acceleration Program, Franklin Drilon, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay
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