Latest Stories

DAP may be ground for Aquino’s impeachment, say militant lawmakers


Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares: Mulling impeachment. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Despite what the Palace and its allies say, the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is unconstitutional and may be a basis for an impeachment complaint against President Aquino, Makabayan lawmakers said on Monday.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said his group was studying the legal and political grounds of an impeachment complaint based on the DAP, which impounded state savings and came under public scrutiny following claims that pork barrel bonuses were given to senators after the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Colmenares said in a news briefing the DAP was unconstitutional because based on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) circular, Malacañang centralized the funds in the middle of 2012.

He said funds appropriated for a fiscal year could not be deemed savings and redirected to the DAP before the end of a fiscal year.

“If you centralize and withdraw funds in the middle of a year, this is a violation of the General Appropriations Act (GAA),” he said.

Colmenares said the DAP funds could not be categorized as savings under the GAA, pointing out that these are balances of funds from projects completed or abandoned.

In this case, the projects from which the funds were withdrawn had not been completed or abandoned, so savings could not have been declared, he added.

But even if the funds came from savings, Colmenares also said these could not be used for expenditures not specified in the GAA.

It is clear in the Constitution, he said, that no law should be passed realigning funds to items not appropriated by law.

The DBM circular that ordered the withdrawal of unobligated funds and those allotted for slow-moving projects cannot trump the Constitution, he said.

Groundwork for impeach

The Makabayan bloc, in a statement, said Congress could abolish the DAP by using its power of the purse and revoking the related DBM circular, which allowed it to withdraw unobligated funds or those for slow-moving projects.

Congress can also strengthen the no-impoundment provision in the budget bill by deleting the exception clause and requiring Congress’ approval for any impoundment, it said.

The group also called for the abolition of the President’s lump sum and discretionary funds, and said these should be itemized for Congress’ approval.

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said that on its face, the DAP violated the Constitution and was illegal.

But he said any impeachment complaint had to be strong and backed by evidence, such as related DBM issuances. A colleague has filed a resolution for an investigation of the DAP, and this could help provide more information about the program that could prove helpful.

“I think there is groundwork that we still need to do in Congress. After that, maybe we can say we are ready for a substantive impeachment complaint,” Tinio said.

Lawmakers’ advice

Malacañang announced on Monday it was seeking the advice of senators and representatives on how best to deploy its “savings” as it did not want to be seen as a know-it-all when it came to spending government money under the controversial DAP.

“We are not saying they are better than us; our position is that we are not the best, that’s why we are asking for advice or inputs from different sectors,” the President’s deputy spokesperson, Abigail Valte, told reporters.

“We opened the identification to everybody because the national government recognized that we are not present at all times in all provinces, all barangays (villages), all sitios (settlements) and municipalities in the Philippines,” Valte said.

“We are just trying to get inputs from people who could be more knowledgeable or who have more information to help in our programs,” she added.

She stressed that 91 percent of the “government savings” channeled to the DAP from 2011 were deployed by the agencies themselves.

Valte said the DAP releases had slowed down over the last two years—from P82.5 billion in 2011 to P54 billion in 2012, and to P15 billion so far this year.

This showed that the government agencies had become more efficient in spending their budget within the timetable, she said.

Valte claimed she was clueless on whether the President authorized Senate President Franklin Drilon to offer DAP funds to his peers on top of their annual P200-million pork allocation.

“It would be best to address that question to Secretary (Florencio) Abad because, from what I understand, we deal with the Senate as an institution through their leaders,” Valte said.


Militant lawmakers want policies, provisions on DAP junked

Aquino faces ratings dip if he backs pork-tainted allies, say militant lawmakers

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benigno Aquino III , Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) , Impeachment , Philippines

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • 13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche
  • Pope sends condolences for S.Korea ferry victims
  • Drone kills 15 ‘Qaeda,’ 3 civilians in Yemen – security
  • Palace expects Gigi Reyes to tell all on pork scam
  • MH370 search at ‘critical juncture’–Malaysia
  • Sports

  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • PH boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare
  • Canadians back PH plea to take back waste
  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Marketplace