Another SC petition filed vs DAP-A A +A
Monday, October 7, 2013
FORMER Iloilo representative Augusto Syjuco Jr. joined calls for the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the Aquino administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Syjuco also asked the SC to stop the implementation of DAP and order the filing of administrative and criminal cases against Senate President Franklin Drilon and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad for their "illegal and unconstitutional acts."
In a petition, Syjuco said the administration unlawfully re-aligned the funds without the backing of Congress and released the funds to legislators, who belong to a different branch of government.
Twenty senators received P1.1 billion last year from DAP after they voted for the conviction of then Chief Justice Renato Corona. Malacañang denied it was a bribe, saying the additional fund taken from savings was for infrastructure projects to ramp up the economy.
"For DAP, the alleged savings generated by the executive department was not a surplus of budget. The funds funneled to the DAP were re-aligned budgets from slow moving items, to items or project which the executive branch deemed appropriate and were not originally used to finance a particular project wherein surplus was realized," the petition read.
Syjuco said the DAP has taken the form of a "pork barrel" for the President.
"The executive branch of the government created ‘a sideline budget within the budget’ so as to create a discretionary fund which they can appropriate and release as their whims and desires might dictate," he said.
Some P137.3 billion has been released by the DBM under the DAP mechanism as of October 1. Of this amount, some nine percent of the DAP funds, or P12.3 billion, was released to projects identified by legislators.
If the release of DAP won't be discontinued by the SC, Syjuco said all taxpayers will be directly affected by the "illegal appropriation and disbursement of public funds."
"This program has been implemented, being implemented and to be continuously implemented by the respondents with the use of public funds to damage and prejudice every taxpayer of this country who contributes to the collection and accumulation of public funds," the petition stated.
Syjuco's arguments were similar with the petition filed by former Manila councilor Greco Belgica last week.
In a statement, Drilon branded Syjuco's petition as part of black propaganda against him.
"This is a clear effort by Syjuco and his camp to muddle the issue on the DAP funds and to digress public attention from the issue on corruption involving the use of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF)," he said.
Drilon maintained the DAP allocation is not "cold cash" as he used the fund for the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center.
Syjuco earlier filed plunder cases against Drilon before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the construction of the Iloilo Hall of Justice in 1992 and the purchase of a 16.2-hectare property in the province. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)