Tuesday, October 1, 2013
MANILA-Senate President Franklin M. Drilon clarified today that “there was nothing wrong, illegal, and immoral with his receiving P100 million worth of infrastructure projects under the government’s Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP).”
Drilon issued the statement in response to the social media posting of actor Robin Padilla who called for his resignation as Senate President amidst his admission that he received additional P100 million from the DAP in December 2012.
“I think Padilla got it all wrong,” Drilon said. “It’s not like I pocketed P100 million in kickbacks. The DAP allocation is not cold cash and but was merely a list of infrastructure projects recommended by legislators and local government officials to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways.”
“We were only asked to list down a number of projects which were immediately implementable at that time in order to accelerate government spending and boost the economy,” Drilon explained.
“That I admitted receiving P100 million in DAP funds was not like I admitted committing a crime. On the contrary, I was only doing my role in helping prime the economy that was needed at that time.”
Drilon lamented that there was a deliberate attempt to muddle the issue on Budget Secretary Butch Abad’s revelations on the DAP funds and link it to allegations of pork barrel corruption against allies of President Aquino.
Drilon pointed out that the practice of allocating Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or DAP was a regular budgetary process in government. “The public indignation that we are experiencing now is because of allegations that certain lawmakers pocketed these funds instead of utilizing them for public projects.” Drilon said.
In his case, Drilon said, he used his P100 million DAP funds to the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center. “Contrary to the insinuations and allegations that are continuously being spread by certain quarters out to destroy my reputation, the P100 million I requested under the DAP in December 2012 was not misused and misallocated as it was utilized to fund various infrastructure projects in Iloilo City which was eyeing to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ministerial meeting in 2015,” stressed Drilon.
“I can account for every peso that I received and I do not have a history of malfeasance and misuse of government funds. I am sure that that not a single centavo was channeled to bogus non-government organizations linked to Janet Lim-Napoles,” he added.
“As Malacanang said, there was nothing irregular in allocating funds to senators through the DAP which was designed to boost the spending capacity of the government,” he said.
In fact, stressed Drilon, even the local government units and government owned and controlled corporations were also given additional funds to increase government spending.
Drilon said the DAP was created in the last quarter of 2011 to address the issue of underspending by the Aquino administration which was being blamed for slow and lackluster growth in previous quarters.
He said the fact that the DAP was already in existence months before the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona meant that it was not created to get funds to bribe the senators to convict Corona.