That was quite a show put on by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda last Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court ruled his boss’ Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional. If that were me, I would have died right there on the podium.
Lacierda probably broke the world record for splitting hairs that day, painstakingly, excruciatingly trying to distinguish how a clearly unconstitutional act like the DAP should not be considered criminal, illegal, or even plainly wrong. You could see how effective he was by the angry and bewildered expressions on the faces of the Palace reporters, which not even Instagram could properly depict.
The Palace line was clear enough: DAP may be unconstitutional but the Palace acted in good faith, thus did no wrong.
At one point, Lacierda even tried to turn the tables on the media, asking a young reporter if, in her opinion, realigning public funds from a slow moving project to a fast moving one was wrong per se. “Forget about the Supreme Court decision,” he insisted, “I’m asking you if it’s wrong per se.” To which the reporter rightly replied that her opinion did not matter. Of course this was Lacierda’s presscon, not hers.
The problem with Lacierda, and Sec. Butch Abad, and President Aquino is that they are in denial of the SC decision. Presidential Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said it bluntly when it was his time to face the press this morning: “Pag sinabing magso-sorry, may ginawa kang kasalanan. Wala po kaming ginawang kasalanan hinggil dito.”
So there it is. The President violated the Constitution, he violated the General Appropriations Act, he “castrated” Congress of its powers said SC Justice Antonio Carpio, yet he did nothing illegal. Heck he did nothing wrong at all. And we’re not even talking here about how the DAP was used to… uh… persuade congressmen and senators about the need to impeach former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Or how DAP eventually enriched Jenny Napoles and her gang.
It is said that Ninoy Aquino’s favorite song was “The Impossible Dream.” The song sings about righting the unrightable, bearing the unberable, reaching the unreachable. Perhaps the son thought it included defending the indefensible.#