Church leaders want details of DAP
MANILA, Philippines–The largest network of evangelical churches in the country called on President Aquino Sunday to hold those responsible for leading him away from the constitutional path and disclose how the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was allocated.
Bishop Efraim Tendero, national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, said Aquino’s rejection of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s offer to resign was “understandable.”
“He trusts his Cabinet and accepting [Abad’s] resignation will be taken as admission of wrongdoing and the President shows that he is loyal to his men though they become political deadweights,” Tendero told reporters.
The bishop also pointed out that Abad’s resignation offer gave the President a free hand to either retain or remove the budget chief. “His rejection of Abad’s resignation allows due process to take its own course.”
“He must, however, hold his men accountable for leading him to what is unconstitutional and at the least, call for the full disclosure of how DAP funds were allocated and used in order to show truthfulness in ‘tuwid na landas,’ (righteous path),” Tendero said.
“The President must demonstrate … that he will lead actively, not just support, the prosecution of all pork barrel scammers, past and present, including Abad and all those around him,” he said.
For his part, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said Aquino was entitled to his decision because he knew his men well.
On Friday, the President explained why he did not accept Abad’s resignation. “The notion in the current atmosphere is the DAP was bad for our people. Even our most vociferous critics grant the DAP has benefited our people,” he stated.
He further said that to accept Abad’s resignation was to “assign to him a wrong.” He added: “And I can’t accept the notion that doing right by our people is a wrong.”
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