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Senator JV Ejercito during the State of the Nation Address last month. AJ Bolando
MANILA, Philippines – Senator JV Ejercito on Monday urged the Aquino administration to abide by the Supreme Court decision declaring certain acts under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional.
“Sa kontrobersiya ng DAP, obligasyon nating sundin ang kapasyahan ng Korte Supreme na nagsasabing ilegal ito,” Ejercito said in a televised privilege speech that aimed to counter Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“Sa pagdeklarang unconstitutional ang PDAF, tumalima ang mga kongresman at senador. Bakit sa pagdating sa DAP, nagmamaktol ang Malacañang?” the senator asked.
Ejercito said the Senate minority is questioning the process the DAP underwent and not the good intentions of the controversial program.
They are also not questioning whether or not government officials personally benefited from the fund scheme, Estrada added.
“Ako’y naniniwala na ang Pangulong Aquino ay hindi nakinabang sa isyung ito,” he said.
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Ejercito also called for the continued investigation of the other dubious non-government organizations identified by the Commission on Audit not linked to businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam.
He hoped that the prosecution of implicated officials will not spare those allied to the President.
“Inaasahan nating hindi magtatapos sa pag-aaresto at pagpapakulong sa tatlo nating kasamahan ang laban sa katiwalian at korupsyon upang hindi isipin na ito’y may bahid ng politika,” Ejercito said.
“Nawa’y hindi maging balakid ang usapin ng pagiging kapartido, kaalyado, kaibigan at kamag-anak sa naarapat na imibistigahan ng anumang uri ng katiwalian,” he added.
Ejercito’s brother, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, is currently detained along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr. for allegedly amassing kickbacks through the pork barrel scam. They are all members of the Senate minority.
Since the three senators cannot attend the upper chamber’s sessions, it was Ejercito who took the floor on Monday to continue the so-called “kontra-SONA,” a tradition by the Senate minority.
In his speech this afternoon, Ejercito lamented the “real” state of the nation with the continuing poor infrastructure sector, high unemployment and criminality and the slow rehabilitation efforts for the victims of Typhoon “Yolanda.”
He also cited the country’s non-inclusive growth and the high prices of commodities despite the administration’s economic gains.
Ejercito also noted that the President failed to mention in his SONA the overseas Filipino workers.