1987 Constitution, battered charter (4)

President Bongbong Marcos has only three dreams for folks in the farmlands — sustainable livelihood for farmers, food security, and affordable food for all.

Last harvest time in August, he said: “My dream is simple, our farmers must have a profitable livelihood so that the next generation will be encouraged to continue this industry.”

In his inaugural address, Bongbong had words that are meaningful in their dimension: “The role of agriculture cries for urgent attention that its neglect and misdirection now demands. Food self- sufficiency is the long promise of every administration. None but one was delivered. There were inherent defects in the old ways and in recent ways, too. The trade policy of competitive advantage made the case that when it comes to food sufficiency a country should produce, but import what other made more of and sell cheapest.”

In the broader sense, as per the ongoing review of the agricultural development think tank core portion of 30 million die-hards from farmlands had traced the absence of adequate budgetary support for agricultural modernization as the cause of slow progress.

Lack of coordination, waste, and inefficiency hinder the effectiveness of agricultural research and extension agencies. Blueprint for immediate agricultural development recommends the reorganization and strengthening of all the agencies and institutions central to agricultural and rural development to make them effective instruments of rural transformation and agricultural modernization.

The Doctrine of Operative Fact

The meaning of the doctrine could best be derived through its application.

When the Supreme Court declared the disbursement of the acceleration program unconstitutional, it is for us now to deal with the consequences of the declaration. A legislative or executive action that is declared void for being unconstitutional cannot give rise to any right or obligation. However, the generality of the rule makes us ponder whether rigidly applying the rule may at times be impracticable or wasteful.

Should we not recognize the need to be exempted from the rigid application of the rule in the instances in which the void law or executive act produced an almost irreversible result?

The need is answered by the doctrine of operative fact.

It has been adequately shown as to be beyond debate that the implementation of the DAP yielded positive results that enhanced the economic welfare of the country such as public infrastructure — roads, bridges, homes for the homeless, hospitals, classrooms, and the like brought about by utilizing DAP money by the hundreds of billions but without audit by the Commission on Audit. It was with the certainty that these public infrastructure projects were awarded based on political patronage, without bidding in the award and without audit.

The administration of Noynoy Aquino in the company of Butch Abad was characterized by gargantuan financial malfeasance and the accompanying nonfeasance by CoA, the colossal failure of the audit institution to do what ought to be done.

The Commission on Audit under Grace Pulido Tan and Heidi Mendoza did not only disobey the 1987 Constitution, hurting with mortal blows upon the Super Body nurtured by Cory, but both added insult to injury, when in the performance of their constitutional duty, in several cases, both Pulido Tan and Mendoza implemented Section 2, Article X of the 1935 Constitution which requires only the auditor to bring to the proper administrative officer expenditures of funds or property which in their opinion, are irregular, unnecessary, excessive or extravagant.

(To be continued)

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