MANILA - Senate President Franklin Drilon expressed his full support for President Benigno Aquino III and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad amid criticisms both are receiving over the unconstitutionality of their acts in the use of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“The SC ruling on the DAP does not take away the achievements made by the Aquino administration especially in terms of uplifting the economy, improving transparency and accountability, and fighting corruption in government,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared several acts under the DAP unconstitutional. The high court said the executive can only use and transfer money to other agencies if this is in the form of savings and appropriated under the General Appropriations Act.
Drilon said the economic gains of the country are due to the efforts of the two.
“These reform measures, made possible under the leadership of President Aquino, resulted in improved investor confidence and an attractive business climate, which were translated into more job and education opportunities, improved health and basic social services and more infrastructure projects,” he said.
He also stressed Abad’s role in making the budgetary process transparent and effective.
“It is also under the initiative of Secretary Abad that genuine reforms towards a more open and transparent national budgetary process and improved procurement procedures have been effectively implemented,” he said.
He said the DAP, which some allege he is part of, was never used as a mechanism for corruption and abuse.
Some quarters said the government officials should held liable for using the DAP as savings even if it was not declared to be so under the budget. Only Congress has the power of the purse.
Earlier, Senator Miriam Santiago said the declaration of the SC should pave the way for an impeachment complaint against Aquino. She also called on Abad to resign to save Aquino from further embarrassment.