Aquino knew DAP was illegal—Bayan Muna
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Militant lawmakers belonging to the Bayan Muna party-list doubted President Aquino’s claim of good faith behind his administration’s “invention” of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Rep. Neri Colmenares said Aquino “knew right from the start that DAP is unconstitutional.”
“President Aquino knows that DAP, which is basically an impoundment of budget funds and realigning these to nonexistent projects, is wrong,” Colmenares said in an emailed statement to the media.
He said when the President was still senator, he filed Senate Bill 3121 “which sought to declare then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ‘impoundment of the budget without congressional approval’ illegal.
Colmenares said Aquino might have forgotten it when he approved DAP when he became president.
“He did not ask for congressional approval for his DAP so he actually continued the practice of President Arroyo when he became president,” he said.
Rep. Carlos Zarate said DAP was in fact “a form of budgetary dictatorship” and was unconstitutional.
“For this gravely unconstitutional act, President Aquino, (Budget) Secretary (Florencio) Abad and all those responsible for DAP must be made accountable, in the same manner that those involved in the PDAF (scheme) are to be made accountable,” Zarate said.
He said no less than the Supreme Court ruled that DAP was unconstitutional and that the President was the “pork barrel king.”
“The president and his men violated the constitution and facilitated corruption in government, ”Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan chair, said in a separate statement.
Crisostomo said returning what was spent under DAP was not enough for the President “and his pork gang” to do. Instead, “they should resign now in shame.”
He said Anakbayan has decided to back calls for the President Aquino’s impeachment and the formation of a people’s council that would “hold accountable the officials who plundered the nation, institute significant reforms and pave the way for elections.”
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