Category Archives: Columns

Many faces of DAP

The Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP has many faces that can be viewed from different angles: economic, legal and political. I will take them up sequentially. Continue reading

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DAP is not PDAF

The Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) is detested because the law creating it is unconstitutional; it authorizes lawmakers to implement laws in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. Worse, the PDAF fosters corruption and has, in fact, been used as a scam to siphon public funds to fake nongovernment organizations to undertake ghost projects. Hence, it must be banished, and the scammers punished. Continue reading

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Using pork barrel to help calamity victims

If the Supreme Court declares the pork barrel law unconstitutional, is there still a need for Congress to act? Likewise, if Congress should repeal that law, is there still a need for the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional? The short answer to both questions is “Yes.” Let me explain. Continue reading

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Pork barrel 101

Under the doctrine of separation of powers, Congress shall enact laws, the president shall execute them, and the Supreme Court shall interpret them. This delineation of authority is exclusive and absolute and the three great branches of government cannot intrude into each other’s exclusive domain. Continue reading

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Filipino justice—from concept to practice

Interesting, challenging and at times intriguing were the readers’ replies to the query I posed last Sunday on whether our present justice system reflects the Filipino concept of justice articulated by Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno. These replies were posted on this paper’s website (www.inquirer.net). More numerous and many from abroad were those e-mailed directly to me. They could fill up several columns. For all these, I am grateful. Continue reading

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Filipino concept of justice

As one of the 10 holders of the “Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chairs on Liberty and Prosperity,” Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno began his lecture with two questions: Is justice an imported Western concept? Do we have a native Filipino concept of justice? Continue reading

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Pushing for peace in Mindanao

“When guns speak, laws are silent,” so it has been said. This is true in wars  among sovereign nations. It is also true with civil strife within states, like  in France, the United States, China, Vietnam and Serbia. Or more recently, in  Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria. Human casualties, injuries, hunger, atrocities  and deprivations have been the sad consequences of these bloody conflicts. Continue reading

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Cooperation, not collision

The least our enraged people expect from the different government entities  and officials authorized by law to solve the pork barrel scam is cooperation,  not collision; coordination, not unbridled competition. Continue reading

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Moving the pork mess to justice

With the filing of the complaints for plunder, graft, bribery and malversation against 38 persons, including three senators and five former congressmen, before the Office of the Ombudsman (Omb), the pork barrel scandal has moved from fact-finding to preliminary investigation (PI). Continue reading

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Abolishing the pork barrel

On its face, the pork barrel system appears to be a democratic way of apportioning government resources. Inherited from the United States, this scheme is supposed to allocate funds equally to every congressional district to be used for the residents’ most urgent needs. And who know the needs of these congressional communities better than the people they elected to represent them? Continue reading

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