Drilon defends DAP, slams Robin Padilla
MANILA - Senate President Franklin Drilon doesn’t see anything illegal or immoral in his receiving P100 million worth of funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
In a statement, Drilon dismissed actor Robin Padilla’s call for him to step down as Senate chief.
“I think Padilla got it all wrong,” Drilon said. “It’s not like I pocketed P100 million in kickbacks. The DAP allocation is not cold cash and but was merely a list of infrastructure projects recommended by legislators and local government officials to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.”
“We were only asked to list down a number of projects which were immediately implementable at that time in order to accelerate government spending and boost the economy,” he said.
He stressed he did not admit to a crime. What he claimed he did was to help the country.
“That I admitted receiving P100 million in DAP funds was not like I admitted committing a crime. On the contrary, I was only doing my role in helping prime the economy that was needed at that time.”
He said there is now a deliberate attempt to muddle the issue by linking the pork scam to President Benigno Aquino’s allies.
“The public indignation that we are experiencing now is because of allegations that certain lawmakers pocketed these funds instead of utilizing them for public projects.” Drilon said.
He made a contrary position to that of some of his colleagues, by saying that the DAP was a regular budgetary process.
‘Every peso accounted’
He said he used his P100 million DAP funds for the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center.
“Contrary to the insinuations and allegations that are continuously being spread by certain quarters out to destroy my reputation, the P100 million I requested under the DAP in December 2012 was not misused and misallocated as it was utilized to fund various infrastructure projects in Iloilo City which was eyeing to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ministerial meeting in 2015,” he said.
“I can account for every peso that I received and I do not have a history of malfeasance and misuse of government funds. I am sure that that not a single centavo was channeled to bogus non-government organizations linked to Janet Lim-Napoles,” he added.
“As Malacanang said, there was nothing irregular in allocating funds to senators through the DAP which was designed to boost the spending capacity of the government,” he said.
He said the DAP was already existing even before the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona.