Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DAP is like a condom: the making of a tyrant

A. Disbursement Acceleration Program and the RH Law

Last December 21, 2012, Pres. Noynoy Aquino signed the RH Law, which was later declared by the Supreme Court as not unconstituional, but with eight items stricken out.  This law provides stipulates the use of public funds for the purchase of contraceptives (that do not primarily act as abortifacients) and for the sex education of the youth.  According to the complaint being circulated last April for the impeachment and removal of Pres. Aquino, the president accomplished this through the promise of PDAF and DAP to lawmakers:
Using the PDAF and DAP, respondent Benigno Simeon Aquino III coerced and corrupted members of Congress to approve the highly controversial “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health bill” (hereafter RH bill), which the House and the Senate passed on third and final reading on Dec. 17, 2012. To make sure that the lawmakers voted according to instructions, respondent Aquino sent four Cabinet members----Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Secretary of Interior and Local Government Manuel Roxas, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Communication Secretary Ramon Carandang—to the Batasan during the voting to assure the congressmen of hefty and immediate PDAF releases in exchange for their votes. On Dec. 17, 2012, the bill was approved on third and final reading by a vote of 133 to 79, with 7 abstentions, after having been approved on second reading on Dec. 12, by a vote of 113-104. In the Senate, the bill passed on third and final reading by a vote of 13 to 8 on Dec. 17.
What is DAP?  DAP is Disbursement Acceleration Program conceived by Abad, the head of the Department of Budget and Management, and Pres. Aquino, the Chief Executive of the government.  In this program, unused funds of government agencies are pooled at the middle of the fiscal year (June 30) in order to provide the Executive department discretionary funds to distribute at will, such as the construction of e-Library of Congress or the Computer Information Technology infrastructure of the Commission on Audit.  In short, DAP is the presidential pork barrel that the President can use to bestow gifts to his allies and coerce the those who oppose him, as what happened to the RH Law.

B. DAP and Contraception

In a way, DAP is like a condom.

The purpose of the sexual act between a husband and wife is two-fold: (1) to physically unite the husband and wife and (2) to beget children.  What a contraceptive does is to retain the union with all its joys and pleasures, but forego with the procreation--the act of making babies.  In a similar way, DAP maintains the fiscal union between the government and the people--with the government enjoying the pleasures of giving and the people enjoying the pleasures of receiving--except not in the way that was designed by Congress when it makes the yearly General Appropriations Act (GAA).  The funds were released, but halfway through the year, the government pools the unused funds and transfers them to other budget items--even to items not budgeted at all or even items outside the Executive department's domain, e.g. Congress.  In a similar way, at the height of sexual intercourse, the semen is released by the man, but caught halfway in the condom's reservoir, preventing the sperms from meeting the female ovum.  The chief executive, the man, can then decide whether he wants to have a baby or not: he can throw the condom away or store his semen in the bank for future use, such as for the in vitro fertilization of his wife (or other men's wives or simply just other girls who wishes to have babies but do not want to have to burden of living with a man).

In his Encyclical Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI warned that the use of contraceptives have grave social effects:
17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.
The first prediction is already visible in our society: just look at the movie stars whom we idolize.  How many of them engaged in sexual intercourse within the context of marriage and marital fidelity? The second prediction already happened because of the rise of pornography, offline and online.  The third prediction already happened with the passage of the RH Law: the government shall now fund the purchase of contraceptives and the education of the youth regarding sexuality.

C. Tyranny in the Making

But let us focus on the second prediction:
A man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
If we apply our analogy of DAP to contraception, the chief executive to the man, and the people to the woman, then one ill-effect of contraceptive mentality as applied to public funds through DAP is the rise of an autocratic chief executive, a presidents who acts like a dictator--his interpretations of the law surpasses that of the Supreme Court, his use of public funds surpasses what Congress can appropriate.  The Philippine democratic government system is designed by the Constitution to be a triumvirate or a trinity: the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial--all co-equal and superior in its own sphere.  But with the DAP, the Executive can bribe Congress to submission and can coerce the Supreme Court to bend to his rules.  "Kayo ang Boss ko!"  "You are my boss!"  Pres. Noynoy Aquino always says to the people.  But with the DAP, this phrase stands on its head and comes to mean as "I am your boss."  There can be no other boss than PNoy.

In his speech in defense of DAP, Pres. Aquino challenged the Supreme Court:
My message to the Supreme Court: We do not want two equal branches of government to go head to head, needing a third branch to step in to intervene. We find it difficult to understand your decision. You had done something similar in the past, and you tried to do it again; there are even those of the opinion that what you attempted to commit was graver, if we were to base it on your decision. Abiding by the principle of “presumption of regularity,” we assumed that you did the right thing; after all, you are the ones who should ostensibly have a better understanding of the law. And now, when we use the same mechanism—which, you yourselves have admitted, benefit our countrymen—why is it then that we are wrong?
Here is a tyrant in the making.  And now he is calling all his supporters to wear yellow ribbons in solidarity to his noble cause.  Oh, what an tragedy.  We ousted the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos by holding the yellow banner of Cory Aquino along the length of EDSA.  And now the son of Cory wants us to make another revolution by making us join his feverish yellow campaign.  Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  As Galadriel said to Frodo who offered to her the One Ring of Sauron:
And now at last it comes.  You will give the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen.  And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and Night!  Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain!  Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning!  Stronger than the foundations of the earth.  All shall love me and despair! (The Mirror of Galadriel, Lord of the Rings, pp. 365-366)

Condom Nation: The U.S. Government's Sex Education Campaign from World War I to the Internet
Condom Nation: The U.S. Government's Sex Education Campaign from World War I to the Internet
Contraception: A History of Its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists, Enlarged Edition (Belknap Press)
Contraception: A History of Its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists, Enlarged Edition (Belknap Press)
Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life
Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life
The Politics of Accountability in Southeast Asia: The Dominance of Moral Ideologies (Oxford Studies in Democratization)
The Politics of Accountability in Southeast Asia: The Dominance of Moral Ideologies (Oxford Studies in Democratization)
Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader
From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation
From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation
Delusions of a Dictator: The Mind of Marcos As Revealed in His Secret Diaries
Delusions of a Dictator: The Mind of Marcos As Revealed in His Secret Diaries
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Cate Blanchet as Galadriel 8 x 10 Photo
The One Ring - Stainless Steel Gold Finish