• DAP a cover-up – Lacson

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    FORMER senator Panfilo Lacson is convinced that the Executive department created the highly controversial Development Acceleration Program (DAP) to cover the release of additional P50 million to P100 million to some senators who convicted former chief justice Renato Corona in 2012.

    The former lawmaker also made it clear that although he was among those who voted to convict Corona, he never availed of the DAP fund because he believed that the additional allocation was part of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.

    Lacson did not get any pork barrel during his entire term as senator.

    However, the former senator said that the additional allotments given to lawmakers should be considered pork and that the executive had to come up with DAP to hide the fund’s true nature. Lacson however said that the funds distributed to senators cannot be considered as bribe because the fund was released after the impeachment trial.

    It was Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada who revealed last month the P50 million additional incentives given to senators who voted to convict Corona. Apart from the senators, congressmen also received additional pork, but lower than what the senators got.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad had denied that the extra allocation was a bribe.

    Based on DBM records, Senator Franklin Drilon, who was then the chair of the Senate finance committee, got P100 million, then Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile received P92 million while Sen. Francis Escudero got P96 million.

    DAP, according to the DBM, was created in 2011 as part of efforts to boost government spending in infrastructure projects.

    According to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Lacson and Senator Pia Cayetano released part of their DAP to fund projects of the department.

    DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said that Lacson and Cayetano endorsed the agency as recipient of their DAP. He said Cayetano released P10 million for his department.

    This was denied by the senator, who maintained that she is not even aware of the disbursement program, further raising questions on Malacañang’s true intent behind its creation.

    Montejo said that his department received a total of P2 billion from DAP in 2011 which they used for the creation of Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard) and the development of complementary baby food as part of the government’s efforts to fight malnutrition.

    “I did not request nor did I authorize the release of funds under the DAP. I don’t even know that term,” Cayetano said in a statement.

    The senator, who is currently in Geneva attending the 129th assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), explained that the P10 million which supposedly came from her DAP could have been based on her proposed amendments during the deliberation of the 2012 General Appropriations Bill.

    According to Cayetano, the amendments were coursed through Sen. Franklin Drilon, who was then the Senate Finance Committee chairman.

    She said that her office even submitted in writing the breakdown of the P10 million to the DOTC as follows: P2 million for training and scholarships; P1 million for the purchase of Starbooks facilities under the Science and Technology Information Institute; and P7 million for financial assistance for Research and Development.

    “I proposed these amendments to support various DOST programs in line with my belief that we need to continuously innovate and invest in Science and Technology in order for our country to be more competitive and progressive,” Cayetano explained.

    She said that the DOST realigned the allotment and used it for the Malnutrition Reduction Program of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute without her knowledge.

    When she learned about the fund realignment, the senator said that her office tried to ask the DOST and the Department of Budget and Management to revert the funds to their original intention.

    But instead of heeding her request, the DBM in a letter dated March 12, 2012, informed Cayetano that it was the DOST’s decision to realign the P10 million under DAP for Fiscal Year 2011.

    “I could not have possibly authorized nor realigned funds through DAP, a funding entity whose mechanisms were unknown to me until it became the subject of controversy in recent news,” the senator said.

    Lacson also said that there was no way that he could have allotted any amount to the DOST especially coming from his supposed DAP considering that he chose not to get his pork barrel when he was a senator.

    He added that if there was some sort of additional allocation to the DOST, it could have been part of an amendment he introduced during the budget deliberation in plenary.

    Bad light
    Lacson also said Malacañang did not handle the DAP controversy well.

    He cited the actions of Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Secretary Ricky Carandang who spoke on behalf of the Budget secretary.

    “I already saw a problem. Seeing the spokesman of Malacañang answering the issues that should be explained by the Department of Budget and Management is wrong,” he said.

    According to Lacson, it is for the DBM to explain the allocations, not the Palace spokesmen.

    “The buck always stops at the table of the President. Whenever there is a crisis the correct way of dealing with the crisis is to insulate the President,” he said.

    Former senator Joker Arroyo also found fault with the way Malacañang spokesmen handled the DAP problem.

    “They play things by ear and pass it off as facts,” Arroyo said.

    He took a swipe at Lacierda for saying that Arroyo did not react to irregularities that took place in the past administration, particularly to the fertilizer scam and the ZTE scandal.

    The former senator however dismissed Lacierda’s claim, saying that he co-chaired a Senate probe on the alleged fertilizer fund scam.

    “Staff indolence, that’s why the President gets into trouble for missteps that are not his,” Arroyo said.

    THE Department of National Defense (DND), the Air Force and the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were also recipients of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), according to Defense spokesman Peter Paul Galvez.

    From 2011 to 2012, the DND received P665.6 million which it used for its on-base housing and for the repair, renovation and rehabilitation of different facilities.

    The PAF got P397.3 million, while the PSG was allotted P248.3 million which it spend for its communication enhancement project.

    Galvez said the PSG’s communication enhancement project was implemented in January 2012.

    William B. Depasupil

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    17 Comments

    1. I apprciate the candidness of sen. Lacson of refusing any form of budgetary support coz he knows that this is not the function of his office to build bridges,roads, etc. But rather to make laws. all these hullaballos are just the tip of an iceberg. I am just wondering why our governm”ent with matuwid na daan rule is silent on the proceeds like that of Malampaya, from Galoc wells, Nido, etc.Pnoy must tell us what’s goin on or else he becomes a suspect and would be too late for him explaining their honesty.

    2. Just wondering what is Lacson’s agenda this time. For sure, Lacson will always be in PNoy side because it is obvious that PNoy had a hand in having Ping exonerated in the Dacer case. PNoy does have to bribe Lacson because Pinky is always behind and supported PNoy. It is possible that Lacson smell’s something, maybe that PNoy is going down that is why he is now taking the risk of a falling out from kumpadre PNoy

      • that’s precisely what’s on my mind. Lacson has played his cards well since he abandoned Erap in 2001. It got him to the Senate where he served 12 years. He’s a dark horse for 2016, but the circumstances might turn out to be more favorable to him.

    3. Pitong Daspalas on

      For better than a month now, a daily parade of revelation on how widespread is the thievery amongst these elected officials. Aquino and his collective minions take turns in insisting the billions of pesos he released thoough DAP is not a bribe, which is a direct insult to the intelligence of the Filipino people. Like the Democrats here in the US politics, the minions continue to “hold water” for the most idiotic, dishonest, most incompetent president in the history of the country. It’s not easy to give benefits of doubt to these politicians anymore; integrity to them has no meaning, they continue to sell their souls for the sake of winning (or not losing face). Never mind the people that almost always suffer the bigger brunt. The finger-pointing, talking on both sides of the mouth, and just lie, lie, lie had become so natural, no one knows when they speak the truth anymore. Changing this worldwide plague means changing the constitution, a mighty hill to climb. One has to step back, and wonder if it’s true that hell is mostly populated with politicians and used car salemen. Hmmm, that notion is gaining currency everyday.

    4. Senator Lacson has always been a straightforward, no-nonsense senator and willing to take risks and does not give a damn who it may be. Pag mali ka mali ka. He is the only senator that has been presidentiable to me because he has the guts, the experience and the toughness to deal with the higher-ups, drug lords, corrupt people and one who will mean and do what he says. Time for a disciplinarian to be president. Go Senator Lacson, go!!!!!!!!!!

    5. I don’t think there is ill intent for the additional money to be given to Senators even before and after convicting COJ, The purpose of DAP is clear to me. It’s not clear for the incompetent people because they don’t even know that they’re incompetent. The senators are not stupid not to consider that the release of money was a bride or reward. This must have been asked by all parties. Mahirap iyong tanggap ka ng tanggap na walang string attach. Unless, Senator Lacson knew that this will become an issue, hence he has not accepted the 50M pesos allocation. Not accepting money does not mean that you come up clean…Hmmp. As they say, if you ask more question you’ll bound to know more answers or uncover things.

    6. “Lacson however said that the funds distributed to senators cannot be considered as bribe because the fund was released after the impeachment trial”, so what’s really the fuss all about?
      Is he (lacson) sour graping bc he didnt get the position as anti-pdaf czar?

    7. enver domingo on

      I do agree senator lacson is really for the service of the people and not just thinking of himself. On my opinion he would be a great president.

    8. Basing on the statements of both Senators Cayetano, the lady and Lacson, it is obvious that DAP is the brainchild of Drillon, Abad and PNoy. Since DAP is illegal, based on many legal luminaries, these 3 crocodiles are criminally liable for their acts. The public must remember this chapter of the book of scandals, scams and problems of the PNoy administration and when this corrupted saga ends in 2016, the 3 must be brought to court immediately for plunder.

    9. Now even Lacson, a Pnoy trusted ally, is crying foul. The DAP has exposed the orchestrated move to impeach Corona that even INC failed to help.

    10. The Justice Department is moving like a snail or turtle. Pag overtime ming yang mga empleado sa Sandingan bayan, trabajador ni De lima para masampahan kaagad ng kaso and mga kurakot sa gobyerno. Justice delayed is justice denied.

      P-noy handle your internal problems first before attending any out of the country meetings. Send your Vice -president to attend to those conferences. You have a big problem engulfing the country. You have to be Action Jackson Bro.

    11. On the current DAP fiasco, Ping Lacson and erstwhile perennial nemesis, Miriam Santiago are finding themselves on common ground.

      Same cannot be said on the other issue of the PDAF where Ping is silent on those that are being charged: Jinggoy, Bong Revilla, and JPE. Miriam, as we have seen so far, is guns-drawn and blazing at the trio.

      This is one helluva mess which cannot be undone or troubleshoot by even the most brilliant strategist or political animal out there.

      PNOY is still preoccupied of trashing his favorite whipping doll, GMA. He seems to relish his role of the sadist-tormentor of GMA whilst the latter prefers the mute and submissive masochist. Perhaps a swapping of roles is in order. This show is fast becoming a bore after three years of the same kink.

      Watching and waiting on the sidelines are the TWO MAIN PROTAGONISTS in this political theater, JEJOMAR and MAR who have so far managed to remain unscathed and untainted. Two individuals who will decide the fate of the Student Council president when he is no longer the president. Two individuals whose minions will continue to battle each other with mud and more mud until May of 2016. Why not use guns or bolos instead? They could do this country a big favor.

      Bloody good riddance!

    12. Senator Lacson is right, because it was given after the impeachment trial it was not a bribe but a reward. This is one reason why I am proud of my town mate, He never avail of his PDAF or DAP during his term and for speaking his mind even though he is considered as administration ally. Why do some filipinos doesn’t notice of his achievement and sincerity.

    13. joebert banderas on

      Kung gusto ninyo ng pagbabago ,Dapat na ibalik ang death penalty sa mga kriminal kasama na corrupt officials firing squad sa public para matakot ang susunod na mga generation na corrupt din.