Calls to abolish DAP pressed in Senate
MANILA, Philippines — Two opposition senators are pushing for the abolition of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) despite President Benigno Aquino III’s repeated pronouncements that it was not “pork barrel” and its use was provided for under the law.
“For me DAP is illegal. It allows the President to obtain an absolute power over government funds without congressional approval and will use it for political favors,” neophyte Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said in a text message to reporters Thursday.
“PNOY (Aquino’s nickname) must not be selective in identifying what is pork. PDAF is pork, PSF (Presidential Social Fund) is pork, DAP is pork,” he said.
“There’s already clamor for the abolition of pork barrel in all forms. If we are sensitive to it, then pork should be abolished in all forms. All of these likewise must be investigated for the benefit of filipino people,” Ejercito added.
Another neophyte senator, Nancy Binay, believes that giving up the DAP would be the “best act” the Aquino administration could do to address the growing sentiments of the public against it.
“After having too many versions and definition,perhaps President (Aquino) wanted to end all speculations about the DAP,” Binay said of the President’s televised address to the nation Wednesday night.
“There is a growing anti- DAP sentiment. If it was intended to appease the people, giving it up is the best act.”
“If it was intended to influence the Supreme Court, it is best to ask the Palace about it,” she said.
Binay was apparently referring to the pending petitions at the high tribunal questioning the constitutionality of the DAP.
“I’m hoping that the SC will never allow itself to be swayed by another branch of government,” she further said.
Ejercito and Binay belong to the minority bloc in the Senate being headed by Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile, who was among those charged with plunder for alleged misused of his PDAF.
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