Palace says DAP suspended with PDAF, insists it’s not pork | Inquirer News
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Palace says DAP suspended with PDAF, insists it’s not pork

/ 04:06 PM September 30, 2013

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Disbursement Allocation Program (DAP), which has recently been making headlines as the source of alleged bribes to senators, has already been suspended, said a Palace official on Monday.

“We suspended DAP at the same time we suspended PDAF, according to (Budget) Secretary Butch Abad,” said Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a televised press conference.

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The DAP was the latest of discretionary funds questioned by the public and the media after Abad confirmed it was the source of the “additional pork barrel” Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada claimed was given to senators months after the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona last year.

“After the conviction of the former Chief Justice, those who voted to convict were allotted an additional P50 million as provided in a private and confidential letter memorandum of the then chair of the Senate committee on finance [now Senate President Franklin Drilon],” Estrada said in his privilege speech Thursday, implying it was an “incentive” for the Corona’s ouster.

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But Drilon, in an earlier interview, said it was not a bribe while Lacierda insisted the fund is not for the lawmakers’ use.

“These funds are disbursed to the projects nominated by the senators so it means it goes to the implementing agency,” Lacierda said, adding that it is reserved for important projects of the government.

Drilon said the DAP was introduced in 2011 to address government underspending and the low GDP (gross domestic product) growth at the time.

Senators also debate on whether the DAP is a form of pork barrel.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said he considers DAP as regular pork, claiming the funds were from insertions by lawmakers to the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Senator Joker Arroyo, who received DAP this year but voted to acquit Corona, insisted it was not pork barrel. He said the P47 million he secured under the GAA, released in February, went directly to the Department of Education for the construction of school buildings in Bicol and for medical assistance.

On Saturday, Abad confirmed that Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Francis Escudero, and Drilon received around P100 million worth of releases from the DAP after the Corona impeachment.  He said House members also received P10 million to P15 million in DAP, which was a lump sum budgetary item that pooled savings from unused budgetary items.

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Data released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed that all those who voted to convict Corona received DAP funds while those who voted to acquit (Senators Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Miriam Defensor-Santiago) got nothing.

Lawmakers who received P30 million to P50 million worth of releases from the DAP were Senators Antonio Trillanes, Manuel Villar, Ramon Revilla, Francis Pangilinan, Loren Legarda, Lito Lapid, Jinggoy Estrada, Alan Cayetano, Edgardo Angara, Ralph Recto, Koko Pimentel, Vicente Sotto III, Teofisto Guingona, and Serge Osmeña.

Lacierda said the DBM will soon release information on the agencies that received funds from the DAP.

RELATED STORIES:

Post-impeachment pork: Drilon, Enrile top list

DAP funds still pork, says Lacson

Joker Arroyo lays bribery at Palace doorstep

House members also given extra P15M

Jinggoy Estrada rats on colleagues

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