P8 billion to P21billion DAP funds missing

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RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

Coa must now do a real audit
I APPLAUD President Duterte’s recent tirade against his predecessor Benigno S. Aquino 3rd and the latter’s budget secretary, Florencio Abad, over their Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which was really an unprecedented, mammoth hijacking of government funds.

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One of my biggest frustrations as a journalist, when I realized how puny the role of the press really is in this oligarch-ruled country, was during the previous administration when I wrote more than a dozen columns on the DAP, based not on opinion or haka-haka but on documents. Yet the Aquino government in its arrogance never commented or attempted to debunk a single one of my allegations.

My columns mainly dealt with:
• How DAP was thinly, stupidly disguised as an economic-stimulus program. Quite amazingly, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales swallowed this five-year-old lie in her recent decision acquitting Aquino of complicity over such hijacking of government funds. As the World Bank’s July 2012 update explained it, DAP was useless to the economy as it was a “mere realignment of funds”; and, while a huge loot for the Aquino camp’s purse, it was “minuscule (at less than 0.01 percentage points) relative to the size of the economy”.

The Philippines’ biggest governance crime (a newspaper headline in 2012) yet Ombudsman imposes a P120,000 fine only, and against just one of the perpetrators, Abad (right)? No wonder Duterte is so mad: “Ba’t di nyo kalkalin si Abad?”

• How it threw the Constitution into the dustbin, since it is Congress that has the power of the purse;

• How it was used to bribe senators to take out Chief Justice Renato Corona, which was a never-before-attempted attack on the judiciary; and

• How this huge fund very likely ended up in the pockets of the Aquino’s Yellow Cult, his inner core of officials, Congress members, and even local government officials.

It is understandable why Aquino could get away with such a crime when he was in power. The Senate was a recipient of the funds, so why would they investigate it. Our people had been brainwashed that the Yellow Cult would save the country, and of course the oligarchs had pending applications to build lucrative infrastructure projects, and supported Aquino.

Slammed media
Duterte slammed the media for not reporting on the DAP issue, scolding them: “Kayong mga media ngayon, ba’t gobyerno ko lang? Ba’t di nyo kalkalin si Abad? Anong nagawa ni Abad?” he said.

Why? Because media, except for a handful of articles (as headlined in the image accompanying this column), had been Aquino’s cheering squad in his decapitation of the Supreme Court, which was possible only because of the bribes from the DAP. How could they have done investigative journalism on the DAP when they were part of Aquino’s lynch mob against Corona?

Remember that screaming false, front-paged article claiming that Corona even got the University of Santo Tomas to give him a Ph. D. without his working for it reported by the PCIJ and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, intended to paint him as so thoroughly dishonest, which was the opening shot in his Senate trial? That was such a low point in Philippine journalism.

If the Mamasapano SAF 44 massacre was the Aquino regime’s bloodiest crime, the DAP was its most lucrative one, and justice must be served on both of these, so we can strengthen our institutions, an imperative for our nation’s growth.

The DAP was such a huge crime. Yet in the view of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales there was really no perpetrator, and in her decision asked Abad to only pay a fine of about P120,000, or his basic salary for three months?

Morales herself in her decision said Abad was guilty of the “usurpation of legislative powers”. You usurp the powers of the second branch of government and you’re just asked to pay a fine? No wonder our republic’s institutions are in such a mess.

I hope that the post-Aquino Commission on Audit would have the integrity to investigate the simple question: Where did the DAP money go?

The following is an example of the many  columns I wrote on the DAP issue (published July 9, 2012):

Through the secretive and utterly irregular nature of the DAP, billions of pesos have escaped government accounting, raising the distinct possibility that they were stolen in a scheme similar to Janet Napoles’ pork barrel scam.

Only President Aquino and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad know where the money went since only the two decided, at their whim, where to allocate the funds from the DAP. Not even Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa was consulted on this scheme, recently slammed as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Was Abad, as chief of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), so sloppy that he didn’t know how to count how much of the taxpayers’ money they have spent? The discrepancies and inconsistencies in the government data are so glaring that you would think this. But there is still the possibility that Aquino and Abad diverted the money for their nefarious purposes.

Perhaps this was in Mr. Aquino’s mind when he said, quite defensively, in his prime-time television speech devoted entirely to defending DAP on October 30, 2013: “I am not a thief.”

Discrepancies
Consider these discrepancies in the official reports from Abad on how much of the DAP funds were released:

• According to the document “Frequently Asked Questions about the Disbursement Acceleration Program” posted on the websites of the DBM and the Official Gazette (www.gov.ph), DAP funds released from 2011 to 2013 totaled P157.4 billion.

• According to “Evidence Packet No. 1,” which the DBM through the Solicitor General submitted to the Supreme Court during its hearings on the case, the DAP funds released totaled P149.2 billion (cited in page 2 of Senior Justice Antonio Carpio’s concurring opinion).

• According to Abad’s memorandum to the President dated December 28, 2013 that recommended the termination of the scheme, DAP funds released in the same period amounted to P144.3 billion.

• And finally, according to the DBM’s press statement issued July 4, the DAP amounted to only P136.8 billion.

Did you notice how the funds kept getting smaller? But these aren’t just minor discrepancies due to some clerical error. The last three amounts mean P8 billion to P21 billion less than the amount in the first report.

What happened to the money? Who pocketed this missing P8 to P21 billion? These discrepancies alone are reason enough to fire Abad, being the brains and creator of the DAP.

Two of Abad’s memos to the President in fact were even sent to him through the President’s “Private Office”—as the “receipt” stamps on these show—and not to the Office of the President, obviously to bypass Ochoa. Documents sent to the “Private Office” since these are precisely considered “Private” are not recorded in Malacanang’s Records Office.

Already there have been denials of receiving DAP funds as claimed by government. Senator Joker Arroyo, known for his probity and one of the few who didn’t accept pork barrel money, strongly denied that his office received P47 million in DAP funds. But the Aquino government claimed that the good senator received DAP money.

Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council president Manuel Sanchez similarly denied that his agency, chaired by Vice President Jejomar Binay, received P2.2 billion in DAP funds, as Abad’s records claimed.

DAP funds unreported
Several of the DAP funds supposedly released also were not reported in the recipient agencies’ annual audits by the Commission on Audit.

Some P6.5 billion of DAP funds were purportedly released to the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) in 2011 and 2012. However, there is no report of such huge infusion of funds in the COA’s annual audits of the DILG.

The only reference to the DAP was in its 2012 audit which noted that out of the P1 billion funding for the department’s so-called Performance Challenge Fund (extra funds given to local governments), some P253 million were supposedly from “DBM’s Disbursement Allocation Fund.”

Some P1.8 billion of DAP funds were, according to Abad, released to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) for its funding of a rebel group’s “livelihood projects”.

There is no record of such receipt of funds from the DAP in the COA’s audit reports of the OPAPP for 2011 and 2012. A huge amount of DAP money released to a government office, but no COA recognition or audit?

Some P8.6 billion of DAP funds were released to the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for the so-called “Transition Investment Support Plan.” Aquino even boasted about this funding in a public event in Cotabato City, and ARMM governor Mujiv Hataman was reported – even photographed – distributing P10 million checks from the DAP to local officials in the region in January 2013. (See my column July 1, 2014, “Aquino used P9B of DAP funds for his Nobel Prize fantasy”).

“This year (2013), the government has committed P8.59 billion for the Transition Investment Support Plan on top of the P12.93 billion already allocated through our budget,” Aquino was quoted in several newspapers at the time.

But the COA’s audit of the ARMM for 2011 to 2013 doesn’t have any reference to this money, and the regional government’s cash inflow do not reflect any increase in its funds from the national government.

Nearly P9 billion in taxpayers’ money, and not audited by the COA? Was the DAP intended to fall between the cracks in the government’s accounting system?

Email: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao

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33 Comments

  1. Thank you for continuing to write about things that other mainstream journalists just brush aside.

  2. The greatest tragedy in life is when good men do not do anything to stop bad men in doing bad works. Belief without work is dead.

  3. Hello Philippines, Filipino people were lucky and gratified to have a GOOD and DEDICATED President to have his agenda to CLEAN the Government with all the mess the previous administration left behind, it is right and proper to look,find and discover all these mess from the Aquino government and should answer all what they did during their term of office. If any of his cohorts during his administration found guilty and liable, please set a good example for us to fear the law, and follow what is right and proper base on our constitution. Mr. President, you are our hope in this generation, clean and wash away trashes, the filipino people remain solid to all your effort to make our country “PEACEFUL AND GREAT AGAIN.”

  4. Only in the phils. !!!.executive,legislative and to some degree judiciary branches of government is one in mafia liked syndicates that robbed billions of taxpayers money with hardly a credible explanations where or whose pockets the enormous amount of bank notes went..tsk tsk and to think they the yellow cult keep sellling the hero and savior mantras to the filipino people for more than 3 decades… !?!?!

    • Don’t have to impeach Morales. Just charge her with a crime and put her in jail without bail.
      Morales clearly is protecting the liberal party politicians from charges of the pork barrel scandal, Dap fund theft, Aquino from the SAF 44. Roxas and Abaya from the MRT scandal.

      Waiting for congress to impeach Morales ? A bunch of them are being protected by Morales from pork barrel charges.

  5. Juan Makisig on

    Moymoy Aquino is previously served as Represantive of District 2 of Tarlac Provnice on I am currently residing. This guy doesn’t have a clear project that will be remember by his constituents aside from his surname. I am greatly sure that he acted like a carabao under Abad who is acting as the farmers. He is simply a corrupt official covered by his mother’s cloth and his father’s pant.
    I am proud with my whole clan that we never voted on this man to be the President of our Country. Shame on you to be Tarlaqueño like the other Aquino who sell our nation from Japanese imperialist during WW2.

  6. All the perpetrators who orchestrated the distribution and facilitated the DAP among their cohorts must be held liable with the DAP scam.

    Hopefully my imagination will not be true, the financial support for the distabilisation plot against the DU30 government, either inside and outside the country, meaning inside the country is the distanilisation support against PRRD and outside the country, their emisarries in priving false informations to EU, UN, and in the US…,

  7. Just like the fate of Mussolini et al, Noynoy and Abad ought to be shot and their carcasses hung. Traitors.

  8. Excellent work except in what sound like vindicating Ochoa, is it more than just coincidence that his bayaw – Mario Montejo was appointed cabinet secretary, and got huge S&T DAP while the bayaw’s cousin too, Cong. Neil Montejo, is named right there on the Napoles list.

    Recall that Ochoa’s bayaw as DOST Secretary was immediate supervisor of TLRC’s director, ring a bell? The Senate investigated the agency’s head Dennis Cunanan for DAP, he has since been indicted and to try to cover-up the scandal they simply decided to abolished the TLRC. So how could the Department Secretary not know or have no hand in this?

    Is it just guilt by association or was Ochoa being cautious in keeping his name out of DAP, only a no-nonsense COA audit can reveal the full scope of this massive conspiracy to defraud the Republic if all the paper trail has not yet been shredded by this time.

  9. A BULK OFTHE DAP FUNDS STOLEN BY ABNOY AND BUTCH ABAD ARE DEPOSITED WITH RCBC.
    THE DAP FUNDS ARE MANAGED BY THE TWO DIRECTORS OF RCBC,NAMELY,WASHINGTON SYCIP AND CESAR VIRATA,.

  10. Sir,Tiglao kalkalin ninyo ng mabuti,I’m your follower…thanks for the information

  11. ..and justice sereno is complain that the PDU30’s drug war is the caused fort the poor justice system view of the international community!….justice sereno should come up with a suspension notice due to the poor disposition of ombudsman morales regarding the illegal DAP funds to show that the justice system is able to correct things….

  12. This is what the Congress should be investigating. It was in fact breaking of the law by the Executive Branch personnel that was passed by Congress. Congress should investigate and pass a law detailing the punishment for breaking the budget law. We have seen that the Ombudsman did not act for the good of the Nation. This is a legitimate Congressional action.

  13. Leland Sacro on

    Noynoy should be held liable for this DAP mess and more importantly the SAF44 fallen soldiers. He can not and must not get away with these crimes.

    • you start investigating panot akio and you will start seeing more of jim paredes going around looking for teenaged protesters that he can challenged to a fist-fight …

  14. Nothing will be done, of course there will be a Conmission formed to investigate this missing 8 Billion pesos. After a few years everyone will forget about this. The elite Elected Senators & Congress will say it’s not their fault. And I fly business class to & from the USA, I see the family members flying in business class too. Oh, we all know they paid from their own pocket. LOL

  15. PUT ABNOY. ABAD AND MORALES TO JAIL WITHOUT BAIL AND DELIMAW ROT IN JAIL. THEY ARE THE MENACE OF THE COUNTRY. MARCOS GOLD STOLEN FROM THE BANK. MAKE ALL WHO AUTHORIZED ACCOUNTABLE. MARCOS GOLD IS FOR HUMANITY. BRING IT BACK TO THE PHILIPPINES WHERE IT BELONGS.

  16. We the people should raise our voices to get justice and demand that the perpetrators of these crimes pay for them – in jail or financial fines. the Ombusdsman, Conchita Morales should also be in jail for her protection of these criminals.

    The Philippines will never progress because of these corrupt officials. Let us throw them all out of office.

  17. Pres Duterte should order the DOJ or any of the government’s law enforcement agencies to conduct an honest to goodness investigation on this reported anomalies. Likewise, all those found to have pocketed this people”s money should be prosecuted to the fullest.

    • 20 senators on the Napoles list
      100 house members on the Napoles list

      Only 3 opposition senators charged and arrested.

      The other 117 protected by Aquino, De Lima and Ombudsman Morales
      The law enforcement agencies have been protecting the thieves for 4 years.

      “When they call the roll in Congress, the senators and rep’s do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty’.”

  18. Abner Silang on

    I thought that Cory and Erap had surpassed the corruption that happened in the Marcos government but the corruption in the Noynoy Aquino government is the biggest and the worst by far in the history of the Philippines.

    • agree Sir! Noynoy showbiz government must explain to the Filipino people where SC declared DAP illegal and unconstitutional take note mga Luyang Dilaw and Leni Tawa Tawa Robredo ang SC ang nagsabi na unconstitutional ang DAP/ PDAF! kaya maraming pondo ang Luyang Dilaw sa paninira may DAP na may Yolanda Funds pa!

    • Correct you are and DAP was only the tip of the iceberg, lets not also forget:

      -MRT scam
      -LTO plate scam
      -Port smuggling/congestion scam
      -Refurbished AFP helicopter scam
      -Bangladesh money laundering casino scam
      -Laglag bala scam
      -Purisima kumpare gun licensing scam
      -Job Order gov’t contractualization scam
      -Yolanda disaster relief/housing scam
      -Public hospitals and gov’t land 4 sale scam
      -Unli public works in Tarlac scam
      -Impeachment scam
      -Uber franchise scam
      -DILG fire truck purchase/tech. smuggling scam
      -Simultaneous power maintenance/shutdown
      connivance scam
      -OFW sex-for-flight with recruiter/consul scam
      -$1 billion RP contribution to EU financial crisis scam
      -RP Gold mining industry scam
      -Focus on PNoy love life instead of corruption media spin scam
      -Toxic Canadian garbage cargo container import scam
      -Sub-standard construction steel import scam
      -Un-tested Dengue vaccine using our school kids as lab rats scam
      -KKK rice smuggler patay 1 araw bago humarap sa Senate hearing scam
      -Bucor inmates food budget skim scam
      -Pardon for pay scam
      -DOJ midnight resolutions scam
      -K12 publishing and hati classroom para akala nadagdagan scam
      -PNP glock pistols shoots reliable only in cold weather scam
      -Gov’t arsenal, bad bullets blame Canadian supplier scam
      -(Un( military drone import scam
      -Defective M4 assault (insult) rifles import scam
      -UP scholar suicide from slashed funding scam
      -80’s vintage model hagad bike purchase for Pope visit scam
      -DSWD Oplan tago taong grasa sa resort Papal visit scam
      -Scrap metal the PGMA “Circulo del Mundo” scam
      -Tabaco sin tax pero Mighty lusot sa BIR scam
      -TLRC Scam
      -J.O. satellite scientist reklamo na inako at ginamit lang kanilang galing nila ng Proj. NOAH scam
      -Bukas balikbayan box at i-BIR scam
      -El Niño Kidapawan rusty farm tools instead of food relief scam
      -Benta Spartlies 3lianes back door deal scam
      -Voters personal data hacking scam
      -PCOS Smartmatic Comelec scam
      -Pabaya Sabah claim, para patay barter trade scam
      -NFA-GMO and smuggled fake rice (styro-rice) sold on the market scam

      … of course lets not forget the Bucor and nationwide narco-industry scam

    • arnel amador on

      yup! this how they do it. while the spotlights are focus on evil marcos, erap and gloria, in the dark are the angels, do gooders, saints, heroes and decent men and women of the cults everyone known as yellows with twisted yellow ribbon symbol, are very busy and freely “munching and eating” more than their mouth could chew. they were used to it for a quite sometimes, around three decades, until digong comes their way. no wonder right after digong put his ass on that seat the yellows started pulling that chair from him. plan A did not work, plan B palpak and their struggles continue. anyway, they have enough pesos, clowns and attack dogs from within and out at their disposal. what we read on top could only a tip of the iceberg….

  19. corruption in the Philippine government has been existing before I was even born. This is like cancer that cannot be cured especially when the sickness is on it’s “worst” stage. The difference between the CA patient and the corrupt government officials is the CA patient dies and the corrupt officials who are sick of corruption don’t die (sayang). This corrupted amount of money could have helped uplift the lives of poor Filipino families….education, food, shelter, health care, etc. The question is who would have the guts to stop them or better eradicate totally this practices?

    • I have a tip that would help you find out where some of the DAP funds went.

      I am a friend of a former DILG employee who recently ran for Mayor in Batanes due to public demand as he is the leader of the Ivatan Association of the Philippines and is an effective DILG undersecretary. I know how popular he is because I have been to Batanes and had the chance to meet several public officials including Councilors, the Mayor, Board Members and the Governor. Despite his popularity and known skills in public service, he lost with a very small margin. Reply to my e-mail if you want names.

      Why did he lose? Because a week before the election, Butch Abad and his team went to Batanes (Abad’s native town) and gave out cash to voters totaling to double digits and more for them to secure the win of several of Abad’s relatives and LP friends. So candidates who were forced to run won beyond initial overwhelming demand for new effective and patriotic leaders.

      If you have trusted contacts in Batanes, you will be able to confirm these. Also, they did the same to remote places in order to secure their LP minions’ seats.

      I trust that you keep this information confidential.

  20. If the money cannot be accounted for then it was stolen.
    Apparently the law enforcement agencies have better things to do than to investigate and arrest politicians who steal billions.
    Replacing incompetent government officials is a good place to start, first to go should be Ombudsman Morales who has been giving the liberal party a license to steal for years.

    Haul Aquino, Abad and Morales to jail without bail.
    Grab the senators and house reps who stole the pork barrel funds but were protected by Aquino, De Lima and Ombudsman Morales.

    Letting Ombudsman Morales continue to not charge the hundreds of pork barrel and Dap thieves and continue to let Aquino get away with abandoning the SAF 44 is reason enough to jail her.

    Are people still expecting Morales to do her job putting the pork barrel and Dap thieves in jail ?

    Wake up, Morales had 4 years to investigate the pork barrel scam and charge the the liberal party thieves but has not.

    • She had 4 years to investigate but no LP trash were charged and jailed. Of course there wont be, morales is a yellow dog installed by Noynoy to make sure they do not go to jail. Might as well just put a bullet to her head and charge it to ejk. Thats what they keep crying over about anyway. So we can get rid of this yellow piece of trash asap before she does more damage than she already did for the last 4 years.

  21. Duterte should jail Nonoy and Abad. Noynoy is just silent now because Duterte is still popular. but once Noynoy sees the Duterte government crumbling down, Noynoy will be visible again and act as if he’s a hero and will lead the opposition against Duterte.