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46 former, incumbent solons got DAP after Corona impeachment

/ 05:33 PM August 18, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – At least 46 former and incumbent lawmakers received funds from President Benigno Aquino III’s outlawed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) for a milk feeding program, or just days after the chamber impeached former Chief Justice Renato Corona in December 2011, the Commission on Audit (COA) said in its latest report.

Corona on May 29, 2012 was found guilty by the Senate acting as an impeachment court.

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AP file photo

According to COA’s annual audit report on the National Dairy Authority (NDA) as of December 31, 2013, at least 46 former and incumbent lawmakers were allocated with P229.6 million for milk feeding programs.

The report said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued special allotment release orders (Saro) and notice of cash allocations (NCA) for 46 solons on Dec. 22, 2011, or 10 days after the House of Representatives impeached Corona.

These lawmakers were endorsed by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to the DBM for fund allocation, the report read.

DAP became controversial after Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who is detained for plunder over the pork barrel scam, claimed that funds from DAP were given as incentives to senators who voted to convict Corona.

Some practices under DAP were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court at the height of the controversy, pitting the judiciary against the executive. President Aquino had warned the high court of colliding with the executive.

In their report, COA said the DAP funds for the milk feeding program “may not have fully contributed in the attainment of the DAP objective of accelerating government spending…”

This is because “since from the time the funds of P167.44 million or 72.9 percent were released in September 2012, only 87 percent or P145.694 million was obligated, and out of which, a total of P87.002 million or 59.7 percent was disbursed for 33 projects.”

COA recommended that the NDA management “return the unutilized DAP funds to the Bureau of Treasury pursuant to the pronouncement of the Supreme Court that the DAP is unconstitutional.”

Among the lawmakers who received DAP funds were those from the Makabayan bloc, which has criticized the DAP as Aquino’s “pork barrel” funds. They are Act Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus, former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino, former Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano and former Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino.

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In a statement, Tinio said they didn’t know that the funds for the milk feeding program were sourced from DAP. He said they thought these were from NDA’s regular appropriations.

“We were also dismayed to learn, only recently, in the light of the controversy over President Aquino’s DAP, that funding for the NDA’s Milk Feeding Program, including the two projects we identified, was sourced through the DAP, which we have consistently opposed. At the time, we assumed that the program was a regular program of the NDA, with funding from its regular appropriations,” Tinio said.

Also among the recipients are Speaker Belmonte and former San Juan City Rep. now Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito.

The former and incumbent lawmakers who were tagged as the proponents of the milk feeding program are:

Bernadette Herrera Dy – Bagong Henerasyon
Herminia Roman – 1st District Bataan
Winston Castelo – 2nd district, Quezon city
Roy Loyola – 5th district, Cavite
Agapito Guanlao – Butil
Roberto Puno – 1st district, Antipolo
Florencio Miraflores – Lone district, Aklan
Jorge Almonte – 1st district, Misamis Occidental
Carol Jayne Lopez – Yacap
Nancy Catamco – 2nd district, North Cotabato
Antonio Ferrer – 6th district, Cavite
Oscar Malapitan – 6th district, Caloocan
Justin Marc Chipeco – 2nd district, Laguna
Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David – 4th district, Manila
Leopoldo Bataoil – 2nd district, Pangasinan
Roger Mercado – Lone district, Southern Leyte
Vicente Belmonte Jr. – Lone district, Lanao Del Norte
Benjamin Asilo – 1st district, Manila
Godofredo Arquiza – Senior Citizens party-list
Rommel Amatong – 2nd district, Compostela Valley
Maria Carmen Zamora Japsa – 1st district, Compostela Valley
Acmad Tomawis – ALIF
Edwin Olivarez – 1st district, Paranaque
Mariano Michael Velarde – Buhay
Balindong Pangalian – 2nd district, Lanao Del Sur
Rafael Mariano – Anakpawis
Jorge Banal – 3rd district, Quezon city
Alfredo Garbin – Ako Bicol
Sharon Garin – Aambis Owa
Abigail Faye Ferriol – Kalinga
Joseph Victor Ejercito – Lone district, San Juan
Romero Quimbo – 2nd district, Marikina
Feliciano Belmonte – 4th district, Quezon city
Randolph Ting – 3rd district, Cagayan
Imelda Calixto-Rubiano – Lone district, Pasay
Emmi De Jesus – Gabriela
Vincent Crisologo – 1st district, Quezon city
Antonio Tinio – Act Teachers
Bai Sandra Sema – 1st district, Cotabato and Maguindanao
Ryan Luis Singson – 1st district, Ilocos Sur
Baby Aline Vargas-Alfonso – 2nd district, Cagayan
Teddy Casino – Bayan Muna
Carlo Lopez – 2nd district, Manila
Jose Benjamin Benaldo – 1st district, Cagayan De Oro
Teodorico Haresco – Kasangga
Raymond Palatino – Kabataan

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