Jul 072014

Malacañang on Monday brushed aside former Senator Joker Arroyo’s accusation that the disbursement acceleration program (DAP) showed how the Aquino administration is an “evil genius.”

“With all due respect, we do not wish to dignify comments from Senator Arroyo,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said during a press briefing.

Lacierda also shrugged off Arroyo’s dare to Aquino to discuss the DAP in his upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“The President will choose to say what he wants to say in [the] SONA. Let’s just wait for the SONA,” the President’s spokesman said.

In a radio interview on Sunday, Arroyo called the Aquino administration an “evil genius” for releasing DAP funds to agencies and lawmakers without authority to spend from Congress.

Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court (SC) declared certain acts under the government’s DAP as unconstitutional, including the declaration of unobligated allotments as savings, the cross-border transfers of savings of the executive to other branches of government, and the funding of projects not stated in the national budget. 
In September last year, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said P47 million in DAP funds were released to Arroyo’s office in 2013. Arroyo, however, denied receiving any allocations from the DAP. 

In the radio interview, Arroyo also noted how past presidents, including President Aquino’s mom Corazon, never availed of the power to pool unused savings under the Administrative Code.

Lacierda, however, maintained that this power is valid and legal.

“The fact that one uses the law or not should not be a basis for bewilderment. There’s a law that has not been declared invalid. Up ‘til this point, it is still constitutional. It’s still legal. Nobody has questioned the Revised Administrative Code of 1987,” the President’s spokesman said. Andreo Calonzo/RSJ, GMA News

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