Connect with us

Commentary

Liberal plunder

TDT

Published

on

Yellow hypocrisy is at its worst in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) fiasco and the claim of Liberal Party (LP) kingpins that it was never used for political purposes, such as the ousting of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona Jr.

One proof of collusion among the LP opportunists who were then in control of government was that during the term of former President Noynoy Aquino, the Commission on Audit (CoA) never stepped in to probe the P142 billion DAP funds despite the wide allegations of their misuse.

Aquino’s CoA chairman Grace Pulido Tan was swift in complying with the LP project called the Special Report on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) covering 2007 to 2009 which targeted the opposition. However, the CoA was totally silent on the DAP which was set up supposedly to speed up government spending.

Prominent among the allegations of misuse was that the DAP funds were used as “incentives” for senator judges to convict Corona in 2012.

The DAP was a pool of Palace “savings” converted into discretionary funds or pork barrel of Noynoy.

The DAP was created through fund transfers from different government agencies which the SC had ruled in 2014 as unconstitutional.

CoA’s inaction extended to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) regarding the special allotment release order (SARO) issuances, many of which were found spurious.
The SARO was the claim stub for government projects that was fully exploited for corrupt practices.

The SARO system was abolished, but the CoA also did not probe the scheme that was partly to blame for scams, including the PDAF scandal involving businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
The DAP was created by the LP leadership, primarily its strategist then Budget Secretary Butch Abad, to extract lump sum funds from the budget.

The Palace then said juggling of funds in the budget, which was how the DAP was built up, was not wrong and that Noynoy was mandated to manipulate the budget.

The impounding of funds was even opposed by Noynoy along with his alter ego Interior Secretary Mar Roxas when they were senators.

Both filed Senate Bills 2995, the Budget Impoundement Control Act, and 2996, the Budget Reform Act of 2009, to stop DAP-like maneuvers on the budget.

The DAP circumvented the authority of Congress to allocate funds by taking pieces of the budget and repackaging these as savings and realignments for conversion into lump sum funds that Noynoy had full discretion to use.

The convoluted yellow claim that the DAP was perfectly legal even became a farce when the LP’s own attack dog, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, tried to use it to smear then Vice President Jojo Binay.

Erice’s claim was that P11 billion went mainly to the National Housing Authority in 2011 which is the prime mass shelter agency under the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council that Binay headed.

Erice also claimed the DAP was used to infuse P400 million into the Home Guaranty Corp. to improve its financial profile.

His convoluted logic was that Binay should be held accountable for being a DAP recipient, while Noynoy and his LP cohorts, who created the Palace pork barrel, escaped blame.

There are now LP efforts to shield Roxas, who is seeking a return to the Senate, from involvement in the DAP, but the balato incident at the Palace proved that he brokered Noynoy’s attempt to persuade the conviction of Corona through “incentives.”

Former Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. revealed that Noynoy asked him for a favor, which was to vote for the conviction of Corona and was told “Pare, balato mo sa akin, kailangan siyang ma-impeach (Pal, do me a favor, he needs to be impeached).”

It was Roxas who brought Revilla to Noynoy at the Bahay Pangarap for the transaction.
Through then mouthpiece Sonny Coloma, Noynoy admitted having met with Revilla “to verify persistent reports that the senators were being pressured by interest groups to influence the outcome of the impeachment trial” and that “he asked the senator to decide the case on the basis of its merits.”

Mar later on conceded that he arranged the meeting but only “to discuss the cityhood of Bacoor in Cavite and Revilla’s presidency of the Lakas party.”

Undisputable is that the triumvirate of Noynoy, Roxas and Abad always act together in performing the yellow plunder of the nation.

Advertisement
Click to comment