Drilon ignores resignation call
MANILA, Philippines— Senate President Franklin Drilon on Tuesday dismissed a call for him to resign, saying he did not pocket any kickbacks or commit a crime when he received an additional P100 million from the government’s Disbursement Allocation Plan (DAP) in 2012.
Drilon was responding to actor Robin Padilla’s resignation call posted on social media.
“I think Padilla got it all wrong,” he said in a statement. “It’s not like I pocketed P100 million in kickbacks. The DAP allocation is not cold cash and but was merely a list of infrastructure projects recommended by legislators and local government officials to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.”
“We were only asked to list down a number of projects which were immediately implementable at that time in order to accelerate government spending and boost the economy.”
“That I admitted receiving P100 million in DAP funds was not like I admitted committing a crime. On the contrary, I was only doing my role in helping prime the economy that was needed at that time,” he pointed out.
Drilon maintained that there was “nothing wrong, illegal and immoral” with the P100 million worth of infrastructure projects he received under the government’s DAP in December 2012.
He lamented what he described as a “deliberate attempt” to muddle the issue on DAP funds by linking it to the alleged pork barrel corruption against President Benigno Aquino III’s allies.
“The public indignation that we are experiencing now is because of allegations that certain lawmakers pocketed these funds instead of utilizing them for public projects.” Drilon said.
But the practice of allocating Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or DAP, he said, was a regular budgetary process in government.
In his case, Drilon said, he used his P100 million DAP funds for the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center.
“Contrary to the insinuations and allegations that are continuously being spread by certain quarters out to destroy my reputation, the P100 million I requested under the DAP in December 2012 was not misused and misallocated as it was utilized to fund various infrastructure projects in Iloilo City which was eyeing to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ministerial meeting in 2015,” he said.
“I can account for every peso that I received and I do not have a history of malfeasance and misuse of government funds. I am sure that that not a single centavo was channeled to bogus non-government organizations linked to Janet Lim-Napoles.”
“As Malacañang said, there was nothing irregular in allocating funds to senators through the DAP which was designed to boost the spending capacity of the government,” he said.
In fact, Drilon said even the local government units and government owned and controlled corporations were also given additional funds to increase government spending.
Drilon said the DAP was created in the last quarter of 2011 to address the issue of underspending by the Aquino administration which was being blamed for slow and lackluster growth in previous quarters.
The fact, he said, that the DAP was already in existence months before the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona meant that it was not created to get funds to bribe the senators to convict Corona.
It was Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, in a privilege speech last week, who claimed that senators who voted to impeach Corona were given P50 million “incentive” each.