Lawmakers: No reward for signing impeachment complaint-A A +A
Monday, September 30, 2013
FOLLOWING reports of P50-million "incentives" given to senators who voted in favor of the conviction of ex-Chief Justice Renato Corona, House lawmakers denied on Monday that they receive any additional funding on top of their priority development assistance funds (PDAF).
"There were no promises nor any consideration for me or any of those I know who signed the impeachment complaint. We never talked to Secretary Abad at any point before, during or after the impeachment about any promise or consideration for the impeachment," Marikina City Representative Romero Quimbo said in a text message.
Quimbo was one of the spokespersons for the prosecution panel composed of 11 members of the House of Representatives.
To recall, the House filed an impeachment complaint against Corona for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.
Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr., a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said he did not receive any additional funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
"There was no additional funds allocated; well at least not for me," he said.
In a statement, Secretary Florencio Abad of the DBM admitted releasing funds to senators on top of their yearly PDAF allocation.
Abad explained that the releases, which were mostly for infrastructure projects, were part of what is called the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) designed by his office to ramp up spending and help accelerate economic expansion.
In a newspaper report, Abad said each member of the House of Representatives also received P10 million to P15 million as part of DAP. Each congressman receives P70-million PDAF yearly.
DAP releases are usually funded from unreleased appropriations under Personnel Services, when positions are either not filled up or filled up late.
"It's not illegal or immoral. What is important is the DBM, through Secretary Abad is informing the public how funds are released. After all, projects funded through these releases are subject to audit," Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said in a statement.
Barzaga said the Commission on Audit (COA) can also conduct a special audit on the DAP if the people think that the implementation was anomalous.
"If the netizens feel that that there are anomalies then COA, if there is a ground, should conduct a special audit," Barzaga said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)