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Allies of Phl president questioned on DAP
Drilon received P100 million, while Trillanes got P50 million. The Supreme Court last week declared DAP as unconstitutional.
"It is important for the public to be aware of how every centavo of the DAP funds was spent, and to where it all went. Let our people see everything, and judge," said Drilon.
"I have been an advocate of a transparent government. I believe that all projects which involve public funds should be disclosed to the public, and open to scrutiny anytime," he stressed.
The Palace on Monday called on lawmakers to disclose how they spent the allocation they received under the DAP.
Drilon said he already released to the public and media where the P100 million DAP funds he availed of had gone to as early as October of last year.
Drilon reiterated that the P100 million under the DAP went to the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center, which President Benigno Aquino III inspected last June 27.
He said the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center was in line with the objective of the DAP "to boost growth" as the project will create more job opportunities, generate economic activities, promote tourism in the country, and pump-prime the economy.
The Senate leader said that the project was funded upon his request to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on November 14, 2012.
"We hereby request for the release of funds in the FY 2012 General Appropriations Act (R.A. 10155) in the amount of One Hundred Million Pesos for the construction of Iloilo Convention Center chargeable under the Department of Public Works and Highways," Drilon said in a letter addressed to Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad.
The Senate leader said that a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) A-12-01294 was issued on December 12, 2012 to the Department of Public Works and Highways central office as the implementing agency to fund the construction of Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo Business Park, Barangay Airport, Mandurriao, Iloilo City. (Note: SARO attached)
A SARO is a document that authorizes the agency to enter into an obligation or commitment, noted Drilon.
The Senate chief underscored that official records clearly show that every peso in DAP funds went to a worthwhile project which will expand tourism industry in the Western Visayas.
"Clearly, the record shows that the DAP funds I availed of went to a project that will benefit our people. The funds I availed of were not misused, nor were they channeled to a bogus non-government organization," pointed out Drilon.
"The construction of Iloilo Convention Center is a dream of the Ilonggos and we are very thankful that the Aquino administration has made it a reality," he concluded.
For his part, Trillanes admitted in a statement that he also received DAP amounting to P50 million.
“While I will not refute this, as far as my office is concerned, this P50M was part of my PDAF Trillanes said.
He said this P50 million is not in the form of cash, but rather fund allocations for projects identified by legislators.