Letting PNoy get away with the #DAP sets a precedent for future presidents to violate the law

Some members of the Philippine Senate have recently demonstrated how helpless the Filipino public is against the ruling oligarchy. The recently-held “question and answer” session about the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) turned into an opportunity for the senators allied with President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino to defend the administration’s unconstitutional use of public funds.

In good hands among friendly Senators: Budget Secretary Butch Abad

In good hands among friendly Senators: Budget Secretary Butch Abad

No less than Senate President Franklin Drilon himself asked questions that made it easy for Budget Secretary Butch Abad, the architect of DAP, to argue his position. A lot of people have noticed how, instead of asking questions that would clarify the Supreme Court’s decision on DAP, Drilon simply gave Abad an easy pass. As Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao observed “except for Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay who asked very revealing questions, all the senators proved to be mouthpieces of Abad and Aquino.” Here are some excerpts sourced from an Inquirer report:

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“Therefore there is an authority by law for the President, Senate President, Speaker of the House. to augment items in the budget. Isn’t that correct?” Drilon asked.

After getting an affirmative answer from Abad, Drilon continued: “Therefore you relied on the Administrative Code in your action. And it was on this basis that you augmented items in the budget from savings in the General Appropriations Act.”

“That is correct,” Abad replied.

Drilon said that if the Supreme Court ruled that the realigned funds were not savings, the executive branch may have violated the GAA, not the Constitution. “That has been our position,” Abad answered.

Drilon then asked if Sections 38, 39 and 49 of the Administrative Code had been declared unconstitutional. Abad said that as far as he knew, those provisions had not been voided.

“In truth, all these acts of the executive were made under this Administrative Code?” Drilon asked.

Abad agreed.

Played prosecutor during former CJ Corona's trial in 2012 now played defense lawyer for Sec. Abad.

Played prosecutor during former CJ Corona’s trial in 2012 now played defense lawyer for Sec. Abad.

It is now obvious that members of the ruling class – those who hold positions in the Legislative and Executive branches of government – are just playing games with the Filipino people. They help and defend each other whenever their shenanigans catch the public’s attention. The DAP is a classic case-in-point. Had it not been for Senator Jinggoy Estrada who is considered a member of the Opposition, the public would not have known about DAP and Abad would not have been forced to come up with a power point presentation supposedly showing where the money was spent.

According to Abad, the Senate knew about the DAP as early as 2011 when he claimed to have “presented DAP to the Senate Committee on Finance in October 2011.” His statement contradicts that of statements made by some members of Congress that they didn’t know about the DAP’s existence until Senator Estrada exposed the “incentive” or bribe as some see it, given to each senator who voted to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012, all of which came from the DAP. Here’s what Senator Peter Cayetano said about the DAP in October 2013:

“When we are told that we can request [projects] . we assume that it can only come from two sources-PDAF [the Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel] or from savings. We did not know there was such a program as DAP,” Cayetano said.

Maybe Cayetano was absent when Abad supposedly presented DAP to the Senate Committee. Who knows? But Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares claims that the term “DAP” was not used in any of the paperwork:

”Hindi nila nilalagay ang word na DAP sa SARO (Special Allotment Release Orders). P25 million iyon. Pero nung lumabas na ang DAP, medyo nagduda na ako. So I wrote a letter to the Malacañang and the agency and told the agency I suspect na DAP ito, and I withdraw my endorsement,” Colmenares said in a radio DZMM interview.

No wonder the Department of Budget needed more time to explain DAP. Abad realized it would be hard to defend something that only a few of them knew existed. Even Abad’s claim that past Presidents used DAP using another name was shut down by Former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno:

In a statement, Diokno said: “Senator Franklin Drilon and Budget Secretary Butch Abad are misleading the people by saying that past presidents also had DAP.”

He said the use of savings in the past was for “impoundment of funds for fear of unmanageable fiscal deficit.”

He said the savings then were never used for funding new programs and projects that were not prescribed in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

And this…

Diokno explained: “In the past, reserve control account was used for impoundment of funds for fear of unmanageable fiscal deficit. This is not the same as generating ‘contrived’ savings (such as what Abad did) and applying the same for programs, projects, and activities not authorized in the GAA.”

In other words, the so-called savings that Abad was talking about should not have been used to fund programs and projects that were not included in the annual budget in the first place.

For argument’s sake, let’s say that the Executive couldn’t wait to initiate projects that would “benefit” the Filipino people because doing so would mean having to go through a bureaucratic maze that would delay the release of the budget and further delay the delivery of the goods and services to the beneficiaries, but how come DAP included projects that didn’t even exist yet?

Some senators claimed to have received a letter from Senate President Drilon asking them to name their priority projects. That can only mean the projects weren’t “urgent”. A good example of this is the reported P100 million Senator Antonio Trillanes allocated for infrastructure projects such as “court cover” (P1.5 million) in Barangay Baretbet in Bagabag and Nueva Vizcaya. Spending funds for a basketball court cover would definitely not generate income for the people of Bagabag and Nueva Vizcaya. What it would likely accrue is maintenance costs.

Indeed, the green light given to members of Congress to go on a spending spree by the office of the President likely resulted in nothing more than a waste of public funds. The type of infrastructure projects some lawmakers prioritized will not help the country move forward. Had Senator Trillanes spent his Php100 million in building a public school or library, it would have been justified. Upgrading public education facilities would have added more benefit to the collective intellect of Philippine society than a basketball court.

President BS Aquino and Secretary Abad are now trying to make it look like the Supreme Court’s ruling on DAP may undo the progress “they” have so far achieved. Once again, they contradict themselves because it was BS Aquino himself who said that he had stopped using DAP in October 2013:

“Tinanggalan ko yung kakayahan kong mamudmod…”

President BS Aquino: The Senators have his back.

President BS Aquino: The Senators have his back.

Abad also insisted prior to the Supreme Court’s deliberation on DAP that the use of DAP was abolished around the same time when Aquino scrapped the pork barrel of lawmakers because it has already achieved what it was supposed to do. For them to say that the SC’s ruling on DAP “may undo progress” doesn’t make sense.

It was too bad that Senators who are known to voice their opposing views on the DAP were not present during the DAP enquiry. Senator Miriam Santiago would have grilled Secretary Abad to a crisp. Even before the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional, she already said 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.

Ultimately, it is up to the Filipino people to try and understand the Supreme Court’s decision on DAP. They simply can’t accept Abad’s and the rest of BS Aquino’s supporters’ word for it. This issue will affect how the next President will handle the people’s money. Filipinos need to look into the future to see how the current government’s abuse of power will pave the way for future governments to justify their actions. In short, letting BS Aquino off the hook, will set a precedent.

Filipinos just need to remember that when they are facing a moral dilemma and are confused about what to do, all they have to do is simply think of how their decisions can affect their future and it will help them find the right course of action. It is called foresight or as the term suggests, seeing ahead and having insight into future problems they might encounter. Even if they trust BS Aquino, he cannot stay in power forever. When Filipinos give him the blessing to use public funds the way he wants to, they are also giving the next President their blessing to violate the law and abuse his or her position.

34 Replies to “Letting PNoy get away with the #DAP sets a precedent for future presidents to violate the law”

    1. Fuck with Drilon, Trillanes and other Aquino buttlickers. Nancy Binay was right when she asked Abad where the fuck did the remaining “savings” went and why it was not included in the DBM report (NAIA 3’s wash rooms took 17 years to repair)? If the motion for reconsideration will be trashed by the Supreme court again and these crocs will still insist on their obvious greed-driven budget, then I would be very glad to join the march if people will do text invites just like what people did with Erap.

      Not just Ngoyngoy, I want people’s power to kick these half-assed senators as well. If Japan can replace their prime ministers as easy ABC, then it should be no problem for our democratic system.

      1. “The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. …This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
        –from “The Republic”

    1. @Narra

      I petition addressed to the Ph lawmakers will certainly help give them a message that you are unhappy about DAP. PNoy’s allies in congress will only drop their support for him once they know that the people are already unhappy with them.

  1. If Aquino gets away with this crime, it will open the way for the next President to also abuse the system, and if it happens to be Binay, which is most likely, you can bet your bottom dollar he will abuse it in no uncertain terms. It’s about time filipinos showed they have wisened up to this abuse of power by supporting the unanimous SC ruling and dismiss every effort by this dictator president to have that decision overturned in his favour.

  2. Hindi nila nilalagay ang word na DAP sa SARO (Special Allotment Release Orders). P25 million iyon. Pero nung lumabas na ang DAP, medyo nagduda na ako. So I wrote a letter to the Malacañang and the agency and told the agency I suspect na DAP ito, and I withdraw my endorsement,” Colmenares said in a radio DZMM interview. engot din ito si COLMENARES..wala daw nakalagay sa SARO iyong word na DAP….tingnan mo ulit iyong SARO..andun sa pinaka dulo ng papel…haysssssssssss…

  3. We are already saturated by a culture of corruption that is unprecedented in its scope. The sovereign people are already aware of what is happening in this country. The yellow administration should not be blind or deaf to the smoking and rumbling volcano. We can only hope and pray that the nation survives an eruption caused by the very leaders who are supposed to uphold and protect the constitution. May God defend the right!

    1. U had to throw that last sentence in there, huh? You were doin OK up until that point. What was that? A justification of things that may never happen? and that somehow ‘God’ is on your side?

      U know, the “‘God’ is on our side” argument has been used countless times in history to justify the slaughter of millions of people. When your ready to join the secular world, we will be ready to welcome you….and we won’t be mad at you either. its time dude.

    1. Risking his life to write such a damning article takes ,as he states Nancy Binay and Grace Poe also have…..”BALLS”.

      The Filippine public is apparently not sick of leading questions so all ‘witness’s’have to do is state:”That is correct.”?

      The circus is in town and its not the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’. It is a scam.

  4. As usual, Porky Drillon, the Hacienda Luisita Swine and defender of the massive thievery. Is himself a Pork Barrel addict and a thief…they may justify their corruption. However, people have now awakened.

    DAP is like giving Aquino and Abad, a blank check; with the power of Aquino and Abad : to spend the money; pocket the money; or remit the money to their foreign bank accounts.

    To spend millions of pesos for a basketball court is idiotic. Trillianes is an idiot and a political opportunist.

    So, much for this political zarzuela…I’m tired of listening to their lies. They are not good actors, anyway.

    1. And bad actors don’t deserve projects or talent fees, that’s what taxpayers should do with this shitheads. They don’t do their jobs and they keep screwing with our money. They should also be part of being kicked out of the system. One of the best example is our road system: people pay taxes but private companies fix our roads resulting to high toll fees which could have been prevented if our government is being honest on money spent. France had their revolution against their monarchs, I think it’s high time to change our obsolete constitution and make moves to become like Singapore with rigid laws.

  5. Does the title of this essay mean to suggest that if PNoy is held to account that somehow future President’s will not plunder the public treasury? C’mon Mon, is it not obvious by now that the political class in the country takes what it wants from the treasury? and that is end of story? is it possible to name any former Presidents who have not looted the treasury?

    This is a joke right?

  6. “some senators claimed to receive a letter….That can only mean that the projects weren’t “urgent.”, uh…..W-W-W-WHAT????

    and that last paragraph, WOW!!!

    Let’s see, “if I hide the pistol I used to shoot the POS I won’t get caught.”. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.

  7. What little tax money that is collected gets pissed away on political patronage kick back projects; while infrastructure and basic necessity needs continue to grow in the face of a mushrooming population. Abolish the Senate!!

  8. It’s the second coming of the anti Christ. He’s the beast in the book of revelation chapter 13. Pnoy’s name is full of number six. Noynoy is 6, simeon is 6, Aquino is 6. 666 the number of the beast.

    1. Doesn’t also help on his deteriorating public image that he has some semblance to “that Beast” from Kung-Fu Hustle.

  9. Kung puede sanang maibigay nila Drilon and Belmonte yung letter nila sa mga congressman/senator na nanghihingi ng listahan para sa dagdag pondo para sa projects nila at yung reply ng mga congressman/senator para mas makita ng tao kung anong proyekto ito at macheck mismo kung totoo ito or baka ghost projects or substandard na naman mga projects nila at kung makakatulong ba talaga sa mga tao sa ikakaunlad ng pamayanan ng nilaanan nila ng proyekto.

  10. To all the editors of GRP,

    I’ve read most of your articles especially when you tackle about the corruption in our government system. I really appreciate all your effort in enlightening our fellow Citizen. I know you took pride in addressing the nations concern. As such, I was wondering if you could pave the way in encouraging our fellow Filipino to take part in whatever movement to oust not just the President but all the officials involved in this scam. I think one way of doing that is to indicate the FB, Twitter account and website in all our blogs so we as ordinary citizen could spread the news.

    1. I am not a GRP editor. I am just a blogger here. However, you can spread to your friends and acquaintances, that this GRP site exist. Texting , emailing and word-of-mouth, can do the job.

      We thanks our readers, for their patronage. We will do our best to blog for the truth, as clearly as it can be…

  11. Thats is why we have law makers..to change or amend the law when a flaw exist. Cbeck and balance… The future president is what you elect , so pick the best in your instinct. Nobody is perfect even the most honest one make mistakes and sometimes are blinded, thats why we the people …..their boss will always remind them to get their ssssshhh Together because we cannot be bought wiyh bribes and padulas money…its our moneyyyyyy we tell them how to spend it….or they will not win the election….We THE PEOPLE are their BOSS……

  12. Every Filipino politician violates the law.
    Endless supply of wannabee politicians in it for the good of the family.

  13. These senators are blatantly ignoring the Phil. constitution. Please don’t vote for these self serving senators.

  14. Sintunado ang LORO sa PALASYO, kahit na magkampi kampihan ang mga campon ng PALASYO mas lalong lumiwanag ang pagiging BALASUBAS NG MGA HAYOP…. ISA SA PINAKA SINUNGALING AY SI MONKEY SULIMAN, TAMAAN SANA KAYO NG KIDLAT MGA TAONG SINUNGALING…

  15. Talaga bang yung tatlong bulok na itlog lang ang pananagutin sa PDAF scam???

    Hindi ba dapat nang kasuhan na rin yung iba pa???

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