A lawmaker on Saturday called on the Commission on Audit (COA) to scrutinize transactions made under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) so that officials who poured government funds to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) or questionable projects can also be charged.
Rep. Joselito “Lito” Atienza of Buhay Hayaang Yumabong party-list said pursuing those government officials behind the release of DAP funds is more worthwhile than filing an impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
He said attempting to impeach Aquino will just be a waste of time and energy.
“I do not support any impeachment effort. It is entertaining but futile, considering that most senators and an overwhelming number of congressmen received this illegal fund. The impeachment of President Aquino will just be blocked at the outset,” the former Manila mayor and Environment Secretary said in a statement on Saturday.
Atienza and Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez of Akbayan party-list urged the COA to exercise its mandate and scrutinize DAP disbursements.
“What we need now is to publicly account and know how the senators and congressmen spent their DAP funds. Those whose DAP funds ended up with Napoles or bogus NGOs must be charged, together with DBM officials led by Secretary Butch Abad,” Atienza argued, referring to Department of Budget and Management.
“COA should be doing this routinely. DAP was simply a mechanism established to utilize savings to augment already existing programs and budget items. All these should already have been subject to previous COA scrutiny,” Gutierrez said.
The lawmakers issued the statement as Malacanang gave assurances that the President will not ask his allies in the House of Representatives to block impeachment proceedings if a complaint against Aquino is filed.
“We won’t ask them that. The President’s allies already said that they would not participate in the impeachment proceedings against the President because of the [Supreme Court] ruling on the DAP,” Palace deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte said.