PNoy: DAP legal
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - October 2, 2013 - 12:15pm

MANILA, Philippines - Responding to claims of two veteran lawmakers, President Benigno Aquino III himself said the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) has a legal basis and dared his critics to impeach him over the alleged fund misuse. 

In a televised press briefing in Pasay City, Aquino defended the DAP scheme, saying it was meant to speed up the services of government departments to which the funds were poured into.

He even challenged his critics to pursue an impeachment complaint if they believe that there was fund misuse under the DAP.

"Isulong nila kung palagay nilang nasa tama sila. Pero kakabasa ko lang sa Constitution, merong authority sa savings na to put to other uses basta nandoon sa ating budget," Aquino said.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has revealed that millions of pesos from the DAP were released to lawmakers to ramp up government spending and help accelerate economic expansion.

The DBM said the DAP releases are sourced from the overall savings of the national government, which includes unprogrammed funds generated from windfall revenue collections, unreleased appropriations from slow-moving projects, and terminated programs, among others.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Tuesday that the DAP is illegal since it was not contained in the 2011 or 2012 budgets and they were taken from alleged slow-moving government projects that did not generate savings.

The Constitutional expert said the Charter only allows fund transfers if there are savings from completed government projects and not those merely deferred.

Former Senator Joker Arroyo also claimed that the DAP is illegal since it was not created with the sanction of Congress.

“This is their (DBM) own creation and I got involved in this because of the P47 million requested,” he said. “Being a creation of the department, that (DAP) is illegal. And disbursements of that, would also mean illegal," Arroyo said.

Related stories: Miriam: DAP illegal, 'more or less' presidential 'pork' | COA starts probe on DAP releases

On Tuesday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte cited the Constitution’s Article VI, Section 25 (5) and the Administrative Code’s Chapter 5, Book VI, Sections 39 and 49 as legal bases of the DAP.

Malacañang has also said the DAP was abolished around the same time when Aquino scrapped the pork barrel of lawmakers.

"Tinanggalan ko yung kakayahan kong mamudmod [ng pera]," Aquino said on Wednesday.

Aquino also denied Senator Jinggoy Estrada's assertion that the additional funds sourced from the DAP that were received by some senators were released as bribes to lawmakers during the Corona impeachment trial.

ADMINISTRATIVE CODE AQUINO DAP DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT DEPUTY PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABIGAIL VALTE DISBURSEMENT ACCELERATION PROGRAM FORMER SENATOR JOKER ARROYO ON TUESDAY PASAY CITY PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO
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