Keep politics out of DAP issue – Abad | Inquirer News
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Keep politics out of DAP issue – Abad

/ 11:08 AM February 24, 2014

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Misleading and tainted with politics were how Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad described on Monday fresh allegations that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was used to sway lawmakers to impeach then Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“Even ordinary people, who have no knowledge about the issue, can be misled because of those kinds of statements,” Abad said  in Filipino when interviewed over Inquirer Radio 990AM.

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Abad was reacting to a Philippine Daily Inquirer article, quoting two unnamed congressmen, who allegedly claimed that P5 billion in DAP funds were released to members of the House of Representatives before, during and after the impeachment trial.

The House leadership and its prosecution team were also reportedly “rewarded” between P25 million to P50 million in DAP funds after Corona was convicted in May 2012.

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But Abad denied the allegation, saying the DAP was not used to influence the trial.

“It doesn’t matter if you are pro- or against impeachment when it comes to the distribution of DAP assistance. It was based on the request of the lawmakers,” he pointed out.

He said the funds released to the lawmakers were only a small fraction of the amount allotted for national agencies and local government units.

He also insisted that the DAP was announced and the requests were submitted even before the impeachment complaint was filed against Corona.

“The House filed its impeachment complaint on December 12, 2011. Many of the requests for DAP were submitted before that. We did not even know that time if the impeachment will push through,” Abad said.

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) secretary general and Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco had earlier said that the DAP’s creation in October 2011 came at the right time, “exactly during the time they were cooking up and gathering support for the Corona impeachment.”

But Abad insinuated that Tiangco’s statement  might  be  politically motivated  since he belongs to the opposition group.

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“That’s   why our appeal is let’s not put any political color on the issue because it won’t help the people find the truth,” he said.

Besides, Abad said, it should be  the lawmakers  who should  answer the  allegations.

“I think no one will say they were bribed,” he said.

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TAGS: Controversy, DAP, Florencio Abad, Philippines, Politics
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