P29B or 20% of DAP projects solely on Abad’s say-so

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PERHAPS it was sheer sloppiness on Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s part in managing taxpayers’ money. Or perhaps it was his mindset that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was his creation, and that he could get the simple-minded President Aquino to approve and fund any project that he wanted.

But 13 major projects funded out of the DAP scheme involving P29 billion in state funds, or 20 percent of the P144 billion amount released under that mechanism, had not been approved by Aquino. At the very least, there is no document showing that he approved these 13 projects.

That means a single Cabinet official, Abad, wielded the absolute power to decide where government funds were spent. And in case any of you forgot, the DAP funds were not approved by Congress.

The third phase of the DAP was purportedly authorized by Aquino through his approval of DAP-funded projects that Abad proposed in his June 25, 2012 “Memorandum for the President.”


However, while Aquino “checked” the “APPROVED” box in the memorandum, he had a very legible marginal note that said:

Image of memo with Aquino’s marginal note, which Abad disregarded.

Image of memo with Aquino’s marginal note, which Abad disregarded.

“Note: Approval is for items 16.1 and 16.2. 16.3 is subject to further discussions.”

Item 16.1 said: “Grant of omnibus authority to consolidate FY 2012 savings/unutilized balances and its realignment. Meanwhile, Item 16.2 said: “Grant of authority to withdraw unobligated balances of NGAs [national government agencies]for slow-moving expenditures as of June 30, 2012 and its realignment.”

It was item 16.3 that read: “The proposed additional projects identified for funding.” These listed 13 projects, which Aquino in his marginal note indicated he was not approving at that time but would be “subject to further discussions.“

Despite his non-approval, 11 of these projects were implemented, as Abad reported in the “Detailed List of DAP Projects” which he submitted to a Senate committee. Among these was the P2 billion allocation for road projects in Aquino’s home province, Tarlac. Did Aquino, at the back of his mind, think that it would seem less self-serving if he didn’t sign his approval for this?

Abad’s other memoranda to the President indicating Aquino’s approval of the DAP projects did not include any such memo bearing the President’s approval of those 11 specific projects.

Abad simply assumed they were approved, or more likely at that time he didn’t care if the President had signed the approvals. Abad had not submitted to the Supreme Court any document showing that Aquino approved these projects.

Other than these big 11 projects, there was another DAP project that bore no indication of a go-ahead from Aquino but which Abad financed, anyway.

In his September 4, 2012 memo, in which Abad asked for presidential approval of other DAP projects, Aquino wrote a marginal note beside his “APPROVED” check mark: “Note: Items with asterisk will have to be discussed prior to approval if warranted.”

In the list of projects Abad proposed, Aquino marked four projects with such asterisks. These have not been implemented except for one, the P207 million “Kilometer Zero – National Monument Hardscape and Softscape Redevelopment Project.”

The following 12 projects were, therefore, financed by government money ostensibly through the DAP scheme, but for which no documentation showed that they were approved by Aquino:
memo220140818
* * *

That Abad could be so sloppy that he forgot to get Aquino’s written authorization for the implementation of these 12 projects is another indication of how Abad’s gang thought they were so powerful that they could dispense with existing laws and regulations, and use government money any way they wanted to.

It is this kind of hubris that has become their undoing.

As I explained in detail in my column Friday, the real reason why President Aquino had suddenly claimed his “bosses” wanted him for a second term was because continuing in power was seen as the only way he could escape criminal charges.

Hundreds of cases
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling that the DAP is unconstitutional, he faces hundreds of cases of technical malversation of government funds that can be filed against him by any lawyer or private citizen.

This is also the reason why he has been belligerent toward the Supreme Court, claiming it has intruded into the Executive Branch of government.

It is really an open and shut case. Take for example one project Abad claimed was financed through the DAP. The budget department ordered the release of P450 million for the National Irrigation Administration for the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Dam, Senate President Franklin Drilon’s pet project.

The dam project is so controversial it’s been called a ‘killer dam” since it will displace 17,000 indigenous Tumanduk people and inundate their ancestral domain. Aquino didn’t dare propose it to be included in the 2011 budget bill, enacted as Republic Act 1047.

But just the same, the budget department issued Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) FP-11-02250 ordering the release of the P450 million for the project.

The authority for the release? The SARO says R.A. 1047, section “A.1” of the law’s section on “Budgetary Support for Government Corporations.”

But go to that section of R.A.1047, and there is no such item authorizing P450 million for the NIA. There isn’t even a centavo that year authorized for any NIA project.

It is the same for all 1,997 SAROs funded through the DAP: The legal basis cited in each of these SAROS – items in the budget laws for 2011, 2012, and 2013, even purported pages where these are found – just don’t exist.

This and 1,996 other SAROs are prima facie cases for technical malversation – or even falsification of public documents – both for Aquino and Abad.

Instead of a situation in which their guilt has to be proven, these technical malversation cases would require Aquino and Abad to prove their innocence that these were allowed under the administrative code. That is, these projects were financed from “savings.”

But the Supreme Court precisely has ruled that the savings the Aquino government claimed were the source of the DAP allocations aren’t savings, but mostly hijacked from other allocations authorized by the budget laws.

So Aquino and Abad’s last resort: “But we did it in good faith.”

However, the Supreme Court decision also closed that venue for them to escape criminal liability, even pointing out that Abad, with his nine years in Congress couldn’t have been ignorant of budget concepts and rules. It even pointed out in its decision that “proper tribunals” must determine “their criminal, civil, administrative and other liabilities.”

No wonder Aquino has gone ballistic since the Court issued its ruling, even in effect threatening to force the country to give him a second term.

Probably in 2011, Aquino and Abad thought the DAP was their stroke of genius to both raise the needed bribe money to get Congress to remove Chief Justice Renato Corona and to amass their war chest for the 2013 elections.

It has turned out that the DAP is a blunder for Aquino of such monumental proportions that one can only explain it as due to a catastrophic mix of hubris and stupidity at its worst levels, never before displayed by any president.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
FB: Rigoberto D. Tiglao

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29 Comments

  1. Mabuhay ka Mr tiglao! Saludo ako sa you. At least ang Mga isinusulat mo ay pinatutunayan mo ng mga factual records.

  2. This how infra projects are taken advantage upon by those issuing it. if a certain government official has a project like a bridge or a road or whatever theres two things he/she can do to get money from it..lets say a road project was proposed either the contractor will give a 30 percent SOP to insure him winning the bid and perks for the government officials such as giving him the contract for cement or trucking or manpower or whatever. There are a lot of people that have to be given SOP’s by the contractor including the office in which that fund is coming from. If the project cost is at 100M and at that cost its going to be the best road possible that could be built and that 100M includes the net profit of the contractor the amount issued balloons up to 300m because of SOP requirements of the DPWH, LGU’s , congressman/woman, agents that broke the trade between issuing office of funds and requestors of funds and contractors and in this case butch abad and some of his cohorts. The problem arises when the contractor becomes greedy and cuts corners to save thus exceeding his/her profit margin. That is the scenario of almost all government infra projects and its been going on ever since cory’s time (Marcos is different if he wants a bridge or a road done hes the only one that has the first and fina say on the matter) All these projects that the aquino administration is flaunting to the filipino people im 100 percent certain although I have no proof went through the same process. When the PDAF was still active every congressman and senators got the bulk of their money doing that…now because of the DAP one man controls a huge sum of the country’s wealth you do the math how much is 30 percent of 500B?

  3. Roldan Guerrero on

    The problem is, inspite these thieves are now unmasked, nobody is starting the initiative to punish these plunderers. Abad, Aquino, Drilon, the Cayetanos,Trillanes, Escudero, the Angaras, Tupas,Gonsales, Belmonte, Soliman, Alcala, Villanueva, Delima etc. they are scot-free and keep continuing their illegal activities. We should join forces together and start our campaign of eradicating this thieves

  4. For all those years that the family of Abad have ruled the province of Batanes as congressman, it never had major infrastures, now that he is the budget secretary his province is getting a lion share. But the problem here is that there more larger provinces in this country that needs more attention and can even help us economically. Take note, even air flights to Batanes are unrealiable because of strong wind condition and cloudy atmosphere making it impossible to land a commercial plane. These also the same by sea, because Batanes island is surrounding by a large sea that large waves are dominant. There are times that it will take 3 days to get to Basco. I still cannot believe how this island because it does not have income and enough people to be called a problem.

  5. Dear Mr Tiglao,
    your comments is true but look at batanes now .its a beautiful plce to
    see now.How many years Batanes ignored by politicians ha. Ikaw noong kay
    GMA ka pag tinawag kayo ng senado you don’t appear.Nagyon ngawa ka ng
    ngawa.To me its ok to spend 20b seeing the results.IMF thinks Philippines is a plce to invest.Are you not happy.

    • So therefore, iyon ang justification ng kanilang ginawa against the constitution. Magnanakaw rin ako ako at sasabihin kong in good faith ko ginawa at ginamit ko ito sa beautification ng aking bayan. What do you think? Makakalusot ba ako sa batas ng gobyerno na bawal magnakaw? That is how simple the issue is. the knew na mali alam nila ang consequences, they should be ready for it. Ngayon kung saan-saan pinapaikot ang mga kaso. tinatabon ng kaso ang Supreme Court para mahilo na lahat at tabla na lang.

    • You still don’t get it my friend. We are a country of laws, and the fact that Aquino and Abad did not follow the procedure makes them liable for their acts. The law is there for a reason, and that is to prevent those with evil intentions from doing their thing. As the saying goes, the end does not justify the means.

    • So it’s OK to spend the way they want as long as Batanes looks beautiful? Get a grip!!!!

  6. Of all the national newspapers, I admire and salute The Manila Times columnists for their straightforward and erudite expose of the corruptions in this poor country. I also admire Ambassador Tiglao for his bravery in exposing the truth. I am an avid reader of Ambassador Tiglao’s column and other columnists. If I were to have my way, dapat mag resign na ngayon si Aquino, Abad, Drilon, Belmonte and all those involved in SCAMS – Japan style. Or mag commit na ng hara-kiri silang lahat.

  7. i am waiting to see how DBM sec Abad or malacanang will respond to this? because of their very blind loyalty and very self righteousness….it will be very interesting!!! or i think those memos may disappear…or I expect some career DBM staff be bold enough to speak out on this matters to the public to settle the DAP issue! …or see a COA report on this matter!

  8. So, ok, but supposing these were discussed with the Peenoy and he was now agreeing to what Abad wanted but after that, Pee was already running late for his computer game and and could not be bothered to sign is that enough to hang the Pee and Abad? I follow your columns more than any other columnist and I admire your well thought out writings. But I have yet to see any allegation of corruption, much less evidence to sustain it in court. In short, I am looking for some thing that will be a lesson for anyone in power and more important for those succeeding to think twice in committing wrondoing in the future. Otherwise what we are yet again indulging in is nothing but to bring down anyone in power. But this is not good enough to help make future lasting changes for the better. It will then be just another repeat of the script that the people have gone through every administration.

  9. jose hernani m. parco on

    one more time without end a sick and tired issue; “wherever there’s money around, there will be crooks”! and politicians!

  10. PeNoy and aBAD ang pambansang holDAPers! They rode on their suppose tuwid na daan. Sila lang ang magaling at makakasalba sa Phils nating mahal. They thought ganun ka tanga ang mga filipino. Nakaya nila ang ombudsman, Cheif Justice. Na panalo nila ang halos mga tao nila nung last 2013 Local elections specially gumamit ng pera ng gobierno. They mungled with the approved budget of congress and pooled them in the DAP. When these was declared illegal by the supreme court, pinaiimbestiga sa mga tao nila sa congress at gustong gawin ang ginawa kay corona. In public kinkastigo ang mga supreme court na ginawa lang ang nararapat. WE WILL NOT FORGET AND WE WILL NOT FORGIVE. LET JUSTICE BE DONE.

  11. he misunderstood his popularity. alas, he could have been a great president despite the odds but he simply succumbed to hubris.

  12. Ambassador Tiglao – Thank you very much for letting us know what is going on in our Country today under the leadership of this two(2) stupid people – dalwang gongong.

    Ano ba ang akala nila sa One Hundred Million Filipinos – one hundred million monkeys? Nassan ba si Drilon na Senate President at Bar Top Notch er at Chairman of the Finance Committee ng Senado – paripariho silang – Ano?.

    Matanda na ako at ngayon lang ako nakakita ng ganitong klaseng pamumuno ng govierno. Magmula noong pahon ni Presidente Roxas – ngayon lang tayo nagkaroon ng ganitong klasing Presidente. Si “Sick”cretary A BAD – dapat bitayen na patiwarik sa Bagong Bayan, where Jose Rizal was shot.

    Gusto niyang tatakbo uli at dayain ang PCOS election result? To escape prosecution? – Sira toktok.

    MAG RESIGN NA LANG SIYA AT SI BINAY will pardon him IMMEDIATELY- OTANG NA LOOK KAY CORY.

    Mabuti nalang mayron “Manila Times” who are exposing these corruptions. Wala akong nababasa na ganitong expose’ sa Daily Inquirer – WHY? DO YOU KNOW? TAKOT SILA?

    MABUHAY MANILA TIMES

    MABUHAY AMBASSADOR TIGLAO

    MABUHAY ANG MGA COLUMNIST NG MANILA TIMES

  13. Even then, when he decided he was the savior of this by deciding to be convinced to run, i already asked, What did this country do to be inflicted this punishment of having the possibility of having Noynoy as president? See what’s happening now? Again, my prayer is, i really wish pnoy and his cabal of thieves become comatose.

  14. I will say that the more you look into DAP, the more things we will all question along with you. The reason DAP was so secretive is because there are so many things done wrong. It all starts on the two wrong feet. The executive’s job is to implement appropriations. He stopped so many. The congress’ job to is approve plans and appropriations. The executive did both of these. So his defense is that no one can review anything he did, especially the SC.

  15. No one and nothing can save Pnoy and his allies from falling. It is the people whom they cheated that will push them to the edge of the cliff until they plunge into the deep ravine. Of course they will not admit their sins because they know where they will end up. Frantic as they are today, it is very likely that they will commit mistakes one after the other out of panic.

  16. During Cory ‘s time we had a song for her ” una Paloma Blanca ” a white horse

    For PENOY I have a new song—
    UN Tiburon Blanco—- a great white shark !

  17. Mr. Tiglao,

    Thanks for digging deep into this issue. We ordinary Filipinos would have no way to knowing these anomalies.

    Let Aquino and Abad answer these abuses in court.
    I hope that they get their recompense – jail time- for these abuses.

  18. I agree with you. PNoy is simple minded, a puppet to A-BAD, who pulls the strings. PNoy, thus falls into his own trap created by his own folly. He cannot wiggle out or escape from his own trap. His choice is either JAIL after his term OR DICTATORSHIP. He knows the fates of dictators like Marcos, Gadaffi, Hussain (+ + +) and Amin, Duvalier (vanished from the own countries).

  19. With these revelations and I believe it is truthful and supported with documentary proofs, I am hoping now that Noynoy owes a lot of apologies to the nation as a whole. He must say sorry to his bosses and if possible resign because I think he has no more moral bearing to rule further this nation. A nation of few greedy oligarchs coupled with dirty and same greedy politicians and countless poverty stricken populace.

  20. Based on the procedures adopted by Secretary Abad, he is truly a creative genius as described by the President. Abad’s tampering of the law requires creativity and no one can do it except a genius like him. This is very scary if people in the government are all exhibiting such kind of intelligence.

  21. Another expose’ by Mr. Tiglao which unfortunately for the yellowtards and all yellows, per se, is pretty much or very well explained. Day in, day out, there have been expose’s about how the King PNoy administration is raping and prostituting the public money, yet PNoy still believes by himself that the “bosses” still love him so much to re-elect him? He, he. the yellows, all of them, must be scared every time Mr. Tiglao’s columns are printed because it will tell expose’ after expose’, one different from the former. Agree, PNoy and Abad and their cohorts will have to face hundreds of cases against them, more than all the fake cases against Mrs. Gloria Arroyo.

  22. gabriela silang on

    certainly, abad knows that he can go around the president. he had known him for so long that he knew his mental capacity. aquino was nobody except the son of former pres. cory in the lp then when he was a congressman then a senator. in my huddles with lp men that time, mar and abad call the shots. noynoy was just an ordinary fixture in lp. neric acosta then was far more being heard than noynoyfor he is just a follower. he was never in the equation when lp was planning a line up for the 2010 polls. but as luck had it, noynoy became the lp candidate for pres with mar sliding down thanks to cory’s death and peoples’ gullibility. noynoy’s intellectual lack was filled by abad, the lp brain. di kaya ng isip ni noynoy yang dap. am not surprised by the article’s expose’. it just confirmed what i’ve known all along.

  23. manila times is really a good newspaper, unlike PDI who published bastos, vulgar and off-topic comments. most of publish comments are racist, as you called it gutter.