Sep 012014
Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad on Monday described as “far-fetched” the opposition coalition’s claim that P1 billion from the disbursement acceleration program (DAP) was allocated to a senator.

In a text message, Abad said the United Nationalist Alliance, particularly its secretary general, Navotas Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco, should be held “responsible and accountable for their public statements.”

“Does he [Tiangco] have any document to base that conclusion on?… We cannot react to a general allegation like that,” the budget chief said.

He added that the Department of Budget and Management is still in the process of collating information on DAP funds allocated to lawmakers.

“We are being careful about precisely attributing projects to legislators… We want this done as soon as we can,” Abad said.

On Sunday, Tiangco pressed Abad to come up with a more detailed report on the DAP, including copies of all request letters from legislators.

The UNA official said he received “information” that P1 billion from the DAP went to one senator, whom Tiangco did not identify.

Certain acts under the DAP have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, including the pooling of savings before the end of a fiscal year. The high court’s ruling on the controversial spending mechanism was appealed by the executive branch.

Abad is facing a plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly “systematically misappropriating” DAP funds.

‘Pure speculation’

Meanwhile, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Tiangco’s allegation is “pure speculation.”
“I will not dignify these characters with a response. If you look at it, these are pure speculations and I would like to caution that we should not give credence to these speculations as it does not help our already toxic political environment,” he told reporters Monday.

“Hindi po naman nakakatulong itong mga spekulasyon na ito, eh wala naman pong sinabi kung hindi spekulasyon lamang. Let us go on and work so that we can continue on with good governance,” he added.

Drilon also cautioned the media against being used by sectors who want spread lies.

“Yung ating mga kasamahan sa media, wag po sanang kagatin yung ganitong mga spekulasyon o kasinungalingan. Hindi naman po ito nakakatulong sa ating objective, which is to provide better governance for our country,” he said. — BM, GMA News

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