NINE prominent members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) headed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd received the biggest allocations for their pet projects funded by the outlawed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), according to Rep. Tobias Tiangco of Navotas City (Metro Manila).
Tiangco on Tuesday said records from the Department of Budget and Management, showed that Transportation Secretary and former Cavite Rep. Joseph Abaya got the biggest budget for his proposed projects–P408 million.
Abaya, the acting president of LP, served as chairman of the powerful House appropriations panel during the 15th Congress.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. also received a huge budget–P297.487 million.
The Supreme Court declared DAP unconstitutional because it usurped Congress’ sole power to appropriate funds. The High Court ruled that savings can only be tapped at the end of the year and must not be touched until officially declared as savings by the recipient agency.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd, who heads the powerful Senate blue ribbon panel, topped the DAP recipients among senators with P360.510 million.
Also breaching the P300-million mark is former senator Francis Pangilinan with P310.841 million. Pangilinan is currently the Presidential Adviser for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization.
Following them are administration allies Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd of Partido Demokratikong Pilipino with P258 million and Sen. Loren Legada of Nationalist People’s Coalition who received P250 million.
House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales 2nd of Mandaluyong City (Metro Manila), who has occupied the same position in the 15th and 16th Congresses, is also a major recipient with P263 million.
Also on the list are former Rep. Erineo Maliksi of Cavite with P217 million and former Rep. Florencio Noel of An-Waray party-list, P179 million. Noel is not a member of LP.
Deputy Speaker Henedina Abad of Batanes, wife of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, got P176 million, former Rep. Edgar San Luis of Laguna received P160 million, Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu got P124 million, ex-Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada 3rd of Quezon, P120 million, and Rep. Nelson Collantes of Batangas, P110 million.
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile of the United Nationalist Alliance got P249 million while Sen. Gregorio Honasan obtained P238 million.
The other recipients are Senators Francis Escudero, P235 million, LP’s Ralph Recto, P233 million and Vicente Sotto 3rd of Nationalist People’s Coalition, P214 million.
Senate President Franklin Drilon was allotted P197 million while Senators Pia Cayetano got P175 million and Alan Peter Cayetano, P159 million.
Former Sen. Edgardo Angara got P153 million, Sergio Osmeña 3rd, P111 million and P100 million each for Senators Antonio Trillanes 4th, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Miriam Defensor-Santiago.