Malacañang on Thursday said President Benigno Aquino 3rd will not apologize to the people for having released billions of pesos for supposedly priority projects through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Aquino and his administration “did nothing wrong” in using DAP funds.
He stressed that although the program was declared unconstitutional, it did not mean there was wrongdoing.
“‘Pag sinabing magso-sorry ka, may ginawa kang kasalanan. Wala po kaming ginawang kasalanan hinggil dito [If you say we need to apologize, that means we committed a wrongdoing. We did nothing wrong here],” Coloma told reporters in a news conference.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court said certain acts of the DAP violated the Constitution, including the cross-border transfer of the savings of the executive department to augment the budget of some offices in other branches.
Coloma reiterated that in implementing the DAP, the executive branch “exercised good faith and due diligence” in accordance with existing laws and relevant auditing rules and procedures.
“We believe we have been abiding by and complying with such lawful processes,” he said.
Coloma added that within the executive branch, there are already “built-in mechanisms for accountability and these are operative.”
“Kung merong may paglabag, dapat ay mapanagot din dahil bahagi ‘yan ng prinsipyo ng mabuting pamahahala [If there’s violation of the law, there should be accountability because that’s part of the administration’s good governance principles],” he said.
“There are lawful processes for establishing accountability, and we have been abiding by and complying with all of those processes and will continue to do so,” Coloma added.
He said the executive branch will cooperate with the Office of the Ombudsman when the office starts investigating transactions made under DAP.
“We will comply with lawful and legal processes.”