I agree with Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds given to the lawmakers was a form of bribe for the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
However, Malacañang was quick to answer by saying that it was an additional fund given to the lawmakers to boost or accelerate the economy during that time.
But observers disagree and believe that the timing of the release of the fund was inappropriate.
Even former Budget Secretary Ben Diokno, who is now an Economics professor at the University of the Philippines, agrees with Sen. Santiago saying the disbursement was illegal.
Diokno claims the DAP disbursements were not included in the 2011 to 2012 national budget thereby making it illegal.
Even the President has strongly defended the DAP releases, insisting that the fund came from the savings of the government.
But isn’t the country always on a budget deficit?
Besides, that money given during or after the Corona trial could have been spent on more important projects.
Mr. President, we know that you are not corrupt but at least be honest.
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Edwin Gradiola another Napoles at DPWH?
The Department of Public Works and Highways [DPWH] admitted that more than P30 billion worth of infrastructure projects is “missing.”
DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said his department could not account for the funds which were spent during the previous administration.
Singson added that based on their documents, the agency received the amount but officials are in the dark where it went.
They fear that the money could have funded several “ghost projects.”
One such project that the DPWH is looking into now is the P100-million 12-kilometer road construction at Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas.
Singson wondered why the project was awarded to a certain Edwin Gradiola. Construction of the road supposedly started in 2008 yet up to now, the project is unfinished. Worse, a big portion of it is unpassable.
Mataas na Kahoy Mayor Jay Manalo believes that the money for the project went to the pocket of Gradiola who allegedly built a mansion in the area and purchased almost 50 luxury vehicles.
Singson said they want to talk to Gradiola and ask him where he spent the P6 billion since they have not received accomplishment reports from him.
If this is the case, then Edwin Gradiola should be the next person to face a Senate inquiry.
P6 billion would have built hundreds of classrooms or filled government hospitals with medicines for poor patients.
Gradiola should explain where and how he spent the people’s money.