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Militant groups to Palace: Give us details on DAP

/ 04:46 AM July 17, 2014

Militant groups on Wednesday slammed President Benigno Aquino and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad for continuing to stonewall on giving full details on fund releases under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), specifically lump sum allocations to senators and representatives worth P17.4 billion.

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Kabataan Representative Terry Ridon said the public’s hankering for full disclosure would not stop until Malacañang released details of how much lawmakers had received from supposed economic stimulus program on top of their annual pork barrel allocation—P70 million for each congressman and P200 million per senator.

“The list released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the night the President made his public address on the DAP is incomplete. The public wants to know more, especially since the DAP has been ruled unconstitutional by the SC,” Ridon said in a phone interview.

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The DBM listed 101 projects worth P144.4 billion that were implemented from 2011 to 2013 through the DAP, including P17 billion projects labeled as “other various local projects” requested by legislators, local government officials and national agencies.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan  (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes said that the DBM was “misleading” the public by presenting the DAP as lump sum funds to show that the lawmakers themselves controlled where the money went.

“In truth, the executive branch is the one peddling these projects and are just getting endorsement letters from lawmakers,” Reyes said in a text message.

Bayan Muna Representative Neri Javier Colmenares disclosed that he withdrew his letter endorsing a P10-million milk feeding program in October 2013 after he was informed that this came  from the DAP. Colmenares had confirmed getting P25 million from the DAP from 2012 to 2013 but he claimed that he was not aware this was from the stimulus fund.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Wednesday said that even he and his fellow House leaders were clueless that the extra funds  given by Malacañang came from the DAP.

“None of us knew  of the DAP until the controversy erupted,” Belmonte said.

Both Kabataan and Bayan have announced plans to file separate impeachment complaints against the President for culpable violation of the Constitution in connection with the DAP.

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Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito confirmed that when he was a San Juan representative during the 15th Congress, Belmonte  gave House members an extra P10 million in projects on top of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) shortly after then Chief Justice Renato Corona was impeached in December 2011.

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TAGS: Bayan, Benigno Aquino, Congress, DAP, DBM, Disbursement Acceleration Program, Feliciano Belmonte, Florencio Abad, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Kabataan, Neri Javier Colmenares, Renato Reyes, Senate, State budget, Terry Ridon
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