Aquino: Let Abad explain huge DAP allocations for LP members
NEW YORK — President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning in Manila) said that Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad would be in a better position to explain how Liberal Party members in the House of Representatives received a huge chunk of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds between 2011 and 2013.
“Perhaps I think the question should be better directed to Secretary (Florencio) Abad who would know all of the details and would have the details on hand,” Mr. Aquino said when asked for his comment on the report released by the opposition spokesperson, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco.
The President said he has not seen the list that was reported by the media in the Philippines.
Mr. Aquino is wrapping up a nearly two-week working visit to Europe and the United States.
He said that as of Tuesday night in New York City, he has had 92 engagements since he left Manila on Sept. 13. On Tuesday alone, he had 11 meetings.
Nonetheless, President Aquino surmised that perhaps, on the list provided by the Department of Budget and Management was the leadership of the House.
“For instance, the Speaker (Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.). It’s accepted that a lot of the members approach the Speaker for concerns from their respective districts. He cannot be treated in the same level as the rest of the members,” Mr. Aquino said.
The President said it would be “inappropriate” for the Speaker to get the same fund allocation and then “allocate it amongst the close to 300 members of Congress to the detriment of his particular district.”
The list, however, showed Belmonte only second to former Cavite Rep. and now Transportation Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya in terms of the DAP funds he received.
Abaya, also the LP president, received P408 million, while Belmonte had (P297.487 million.
Rounding up the list of top 10 recipients were:
Majority Leader Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II (P263 million); former Cavite Rep. Erineo “Ayong” Saquilayan Maliksi (P217.894 million); former An-Waray Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel (P179.5 million); Deputy Speaker and Batanes Rep. Henedina Abad (P176.619 million) who is also the wife of the Budget Secretary and LP campaign strategist; former Laguna Rep. Edgar San Luis (P160.209 million); former Cebu Rep. Tomas Osmeña (P124.124 million); former Quezon Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III (P120.581 million); and former Batangas Rep. Nelso Collantes (P110 million).
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