THE United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Sunday accused the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) of being secretive in the releases it made through the controversial Disbursement Accelerated Program (DAP).
UNA secretary general, Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco of Navotas, noted that the DAP was actually “invented” to accelerate the Administration’s political agenda and had a “very special purpose” other than buoying up the economy.
“The DAP was designed and created as a piggybank to fund persuasive missions with a very special purpose. Other than it was hypothetically intended, the DBM needed a mechanism to release funds to a select number of legislators other than PDAF,” he said.
Tiangco urged the Supreme Court (SC) to be cautious and careful in accepting the alibis of the DBM about DAP, noting that the program was used as an excuse to cover the P50 million bribe to senators and P10 million given to congressmen for the conviction of former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
He pointed out that based on reports and by its own admission, the DBM used DAP before, during, and after the Corona impeachment trial between 2011 and 2012.
“[Justice Renato] Corona was impeached on December 12, 2011 endorsed by 188 congressmen. Basing on the timeline, DAP was created in October 2011 and fund requests made by legislators were already in order in November 2011—or exactly during the time they were cooking up and gathering support for the Corona impeachment. Nakapagtataka lang na iilan lamang ang nakakaalam na may DAP na pala noon [That only a few knew of the DAP then is suspicious]” he said.
Tiangco added that DBM’s admission that the DAP funds were sourced from terminated programs as well as withdrawal from unused allotments already make it unconstitutional.
He added that no one knew about DAP until last September 2013 when Sen. Jinggoy Estrada disclosed that the Administration tapped the fund to “bribe” lawmakers into ousting Corona.
“Until now, the Administration is not telling everything about DAP—they’re twisting the facts to cover it up kasi alam nilang iligal at unconstitutional [because they knew it to be illegal and unconstitutional],” he noted.
Tiangco urged the High Court to finally rule on the legality of the DAP and to ultimately declare it unconstitutional in order to stop the Administration from resurrecting it.
“The Aquino Administration knows that DAP is patently illegal that is why it played safe when it kept everyone in the dark until they were made obvious,” Tiangco added.