After President Benigno Aquino’s lies and demagoguery about his and Secretary Florencio Abad’s illegal and unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), now we get smoke from his acolytes.
The biggest lie the President tells is that the DAP money that Secretary Abad “disbursed” benefited the people. And his acolytes have blown smoke to make us—and the Supreme Court Justices—believe the lie.
Caloocan City Congressman Edgar Erice, who is a stalwart of the President’s and Sec. Abad’s Liberal Party (LP) in his city, has come forward with an announcement: That his request for a flood control project in his district was implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) thanks to money from DAP.
Another LP leader, Rep. Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City, also announced that he had made a request for P10 million to fund a farm-to-market road for his constituents. He said that the funding came, it seemed, though he could not be 100 percent sure, from the DAP.
In the coming days, more of President Aquino’s Liberal Party members are expected to make noises about having made requests for funds to help their constituencies and that the money did come, and the project did get implemented, courtesy of the DAP.
That money “disbursed” by Secretary Abad’s Department of Budget and Management under the DAP was used to help the people—through new farm-to-market roads, food and milk, and dole-outs through the Social Welfare Department—is the demagogic message President Aquino had in his speech Monday last week to make the Supreme Court look bad for declaring the DAP illegal and unconstitutional. He has repeated it elsewhere.
He is appealing, as Adolf Hitler did in Germany when he was justifying his policies to destroy the Jews, to the common Filipino people for support. Hitler was telling the tale that destroying Jewish control of business, banking and the economy made it possible for the Nazi government to give benefits to the poor and jobless Germans. Aquino and Abad are telling the tale that the projects funded with money that only became available with the DAP have provided great help to the people. These projects—and the money that flowed from them to the people—were supposed to stimulate the Philippine economy and enrich the Filipinos. Those who oppose DAP are enemies of the people!
Those who have been reading the series of articles by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism in The Times have by now seen that the greater bulk of the money “disbursed” under the DAP have not been for anything that would remotely “stimulate” the economy.
And there’s reason to doubt the probity of the transactions funded. The numbers from the Department of Budget and Management and those from the Commission on Audit don’t match.
And there’s something even more disturbing: Very few of the projects Malacañang claims to have been implemented as requested by the likes of Congressmen Erice and Treñas have actually not yet happened.
“Disbursement” and “actually releasing the money” are not synonymous.
PCIJ writes: “A number of the DAP-funded projects that the agencies said they had obligated in 2011 did not come true at all as of the 2012 release of COA’s Annual Financial Report for 2011. One example is the P4-billion DAP share that COA’s report said was allotted to DOTC in 2011, and which the DOTC supposedly obligated 100 percent also in 2011.
“On July 14, 2014, DBM released its list of 116 DAP-funded projects and there admitted that the P4.5-billion that DOTC had proposed for funding under Tranche 1 of DAP funds released in October 2011 for the purchase of 26 rail cars for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) was ‘not implemented.’
“Where the money ended up instead is not clear at this time. Also unclear is the discrepancy between COA and DBM’s figures.”
That is why the much-awaited release of the complete, detailed, comprehensible and credible DBM report on the DAP is never going to happen.