The top 10 lawmakers from the House of Representatives who benefited most from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) largesse are Aquino administration allies and members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) data showed on Tuesday.
The DBM data identified the top 10 DAP beneficiaries from 2011 to 2013 as former Cavite Representative and now Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya with P408 million; Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. (P297.5 million); Majority Leader and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II (P263 million); former Cavite Rep. Ayong Maliksi (P217.8 million); former Party-list Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel of An-Waray (P179.5 million); Rep. Henedina Abad of Batanes (P176.6 million); former Rep. Edgar San Luis of Laguna (P160.2 million); former Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu (P124.1 million); former Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III of Quezon (P120 million); and Rep. Nelson Collantes of Batangas (P110 million).
Among the senators, data also showed that the top 10 DAP recipients are Sen. Teofisto Guingona III (LP, P360 million); former Sen. and now Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan (LP, P310 million); Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III (Laban, P258 million); Sen. Loren Legarda (Nationalist People’s Coalition, P250 million); Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, P249 million); Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan (United Nationalist Alliance, P238 million); Sen. Francis Escudero (Independent, P235.5 million); Sen. Ralph Recto (LP, P233.1 million); Sen. Vicente Sotto III (Nationalist People’s Coalition, P214 million); and Senate President Franklin Drilon (LP, P197 million).
The DBM data was released by United Nationalist Alliance Secretary-General and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco to the media.
The DAP, which was declared unconstitutional by the SC, came under fire last year after several senators revealed that DAP funds were used as “incentives” for legislators who supported the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
P2.1B still unaccounted for
Tiangco also said that P2.1 billion of the P10-billion DAP released to lawmakers is still unaccounted for.
He said that it is ironic for an administration that espouses accountability and transparency would hesitate to divulge the complete list of lawmakers who have requested projects under DAP between 2011 and 2013.
“[Budget] Secretary [Florencio] Abad is obviously hiding something. Of the P10-billion DAP released to congressmen and senators, he only accounted [for] some P8.9 billion, so where’s the P2.1 billion?” Tiangco asked.
Tiangco also berated Abad for submitting a “sanitized” list of the P10.08-billion DAP funds released to legislators.
Last week the DBM posted the list on its web site, titled “List of Lawmaker-Endorsed DAP projects,” the total amount given to lawmakers only reached P8,826,355, or a total of P5,041,049 for congressmen, and P3,785,306 for senators.
“For the sake of transparency, legislators have all the right to know how and where their DAP [fund] was used,” he said.
“Abad’s excuses, silence and secretiveness beg the question of what happened to the Aquino administration’s promise of tuwid na daan?” Tiangco said.
Tiangco also accused Abad of delaying the release of documents relative to DAP, together with the “letter-requests” coming from legislators.
The lawmaker added that the DBM has yet to account the P134 billion more in DAP funds released by Abad that has not been checked by Congress.