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Butch Abad ready to explain DAP, but needs clearance from Aquino

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 06:00 PM July 12, 2014

DBM Sec. Butch Abad INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Buoyed by his boss’ vote of confidence, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad is now ready to face the public and explain the Disbursement Acceleration Program.

Abad said Saturday he was prepared to give up his post, but was grateful President Benigno Aquino rejected his resignation. And since the President has decided his fate, Abad said it was useless to talk about why he did not tender an irrevocable resignation.

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“The Senate hearing will be a good forum to speak about DAP and to respond to the baseless allegations about DAP,” he said in a text message to the Inquirer.

Abad said he would honor an invitation from the Senate finance committee to explain the DAP in its July 21 hearing. He would have to clear this with the President, however, he added.

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“I just need to get a clearance from the President as I will speak on his behalf. If he says yes, I will, of course,” he said.

Senator Francis Escudero, finance committee chair, directed Abad to submit a complete list of the special allotment release orders (SAROs) that were disbursed under the DAP, including the amounts of releases and projects.

A SARO is issued by the Department of Budget and Management to confirm that a budget request for a certain project has been approved.

On Saturday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Department of Budget and Management was collating the list of 116 DAP-funded projects and would disclose this at the appropriate time.

Asked when he intended to disclose details of the DAP, such as sources, releases and projects, Abad said he would defer to Office of the Solicitor General to make the proper determination.

“That will be a consideration in the legal options that our lawyers led by the OSG are contemplating on. I cannot speak for them,’’ he said.

“I will not speculate yet on what I can say or cannot say [in the hearing] as I do not know yet what legal options the government will take, if it will undertake one at all,’’ he said later on.

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Malacañang had earlier said it was withholding release of the list of DAP projects pending study of the Supreme Court ruling by the OSG. The government has 15 days to file a motion for reconsideration.

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TAGS: Butch Abad, DAP, Disbursement Acceleration Program, Florencio Abad, Pork barrel
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