PNoy to address nation on Monday amid DAP controversy

Posted at 07/12/14 12:02 PM

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III will be giving a televised address expected to focus on his administration's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) on Monday, July 14.

Presidential Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said Aquino will be delivering an important message at 6 p.m. Monday.

Malacañang, through the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), requested member broadcast networks to carry the President's address live.

The address comes amid growing criticisms on the DAP, several acts and practices of which were recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC).

The acts considered unconstitutional include the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from implementing agencies in the middle of the fiscal year, cross-border transfer of the funds, and funding of projects not included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Critics have been calling on Aquino and Budget Secretary Butch Abad to explain how the controversial DAP funds were spent.

The DAP first hit the headlines after Senator Jinggoy Estrada, one of the three senators now detained over the pork barrel scam, claimed that several senators received some P50 million to P100 million in DAP funds allegedly in exchange for voting to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Abad, the so-called architect of the DAP, tendered his resignation on Thursday. Aquino, however, refused to accept it, saying the DAP benefited the Filipino people.

"To accept his resignation is to assign to him a wrong and I cannot accept the notion that doing right by our people is a wrong," the President said Friday.

Critics said Aquino's reaction was not surprising, with some even saying Abad's resignation was insincere, scripted and an attempted cover-up.

Last year, Aquino also addressed the nation in a prime time broadcast to justify his administration's DAP.

He said its not the same as the pork barrel funds, and there is nothing wrong and illegal with its use.

Meanwhile, the Senate has summoned Abad to a hearing on the DAP on July 21, and asked him to submit a complete list of all special allotment release orders (SAROs) that were disbursed under the DAP.