Category Archives: Columns

Political dynasties: bane or boon?

The committee on suffrage and electoral reforms of the House of Representatives recently approved a bill prohibiting political dynasties. Titled “Anti-Political Dynasty Act,” the bill seeks to enforce Art. II, Sec. 28 of the Constitution: “The State shall guarantee equal opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” Continue reading

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Beyond the PDAF decision

Almost universal acclaim greeted the Supreme Court’s decision slaying the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF. Although the reasons used were quite technical and legalistic, the Court nonetheless calmed the seething anger against the scams associated with the PDAF, but heightened the clamor for the prosecution of the scammers. Continue reading

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Major milestone

The Supreme Court decision banishing the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and directing “within the bounds of reasonable dispatch” the prosecution of the scammers is a major milestone in nation-building. Penned by Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, the ruling champions good governance and abhors corruption. Continue reading

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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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