UNA demands release of DAP-funded projects

Posted at 07/06/2014 3:54 PM

MANILA -- The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Sunday demanded that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) publicly release the full list of projects funded by the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco dared DBM Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad to fully disclose in public all the supposed "priority projects" identified by the executive branch, which involved the release of funds from the controversial DAP.

"Abad has always claimed that DAP had positive results and helped sustain the country’s economic gains. If this is so, in the name of good faith, it is only proper that he publishes the list of all high-impact projects and programs that DAP financed. Full disclosure is what the people wanted," he said.

Tiangco added that Abad has a lot of explaining to do with questionable releases to the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Department of Agrarian Reform and the Presidential Security Group, to name a few.

A statement from UNA noted that the Office of the Solicitor General submitted to the Supreme Court a list of DAP-funded projects and programs from 2011-2013 amounting to P170 billion, or 17 times bigger than the P10-billion irregularities tied to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Tiangco also claimed in the statement that DAP’s role in the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona was to influence congressmen to endorse the impeachment complaint and for senator-judges to make a decision favorable to Malacanang.

Tiangco also pointed out that Commission on Audit (COA) chief Grace Pulido-Tan failed to issue a Notice of Disallowances against DBM's illegal disbursement, even after it discovered that even COA benefitted P144 million from Abad's illegal scheme.

“Paano nga naman sisitahin ng COA si Butch Abad kung nakinabang din sila. Quid pro quo—delay the full audit, we will defray your capital outlays,” Tiangco stressed, noting that Abad even sent a memo to the President dated October 12, 2011 seeking Aquino’s consent to defray P72 million of COA’s expenses.

“Abad is the brainchild behind DAP, and he needs to come up with a full set of DAP encyclopedia explaining each project that he illegally dipped his fingers into,” said Tiangco, adding that Abad skirted the legal process in lawfully moving public funds, and exercised the power of appropriation exclusively reserved to Congress.

Meanwhile, the Palace said it is still studying plans to file a motion for reconsideration over the Supreme Court's ruling outlawing the DAP.

"Kasalukuyan pang pinag-aaralan ang mga opsyon na tatahakin ng pamahalaan hinggil diyan. Meron pa namang sapat na panahon para kumilos at gumawa ng karampatang aksyon hinggil sa iba't ibang legal options," Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told radio dzRB.