MANILA - Implicating Vice President Jejomar Binay in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) controversy reflects “ignorance, irresponsibility, and recklessness,” the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said.
UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco said Liberal Party official and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice is “factually wrong” in claiming that Binay received P11.45 billion in DAP funds via the National Housing Authority (NHA).
While Binay is the chairman of NHA Board by virtue of his position as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the NHA is an agency directly under the Office of the President, Tiangco noted.
"It is the Office of the President (OP) that exercises administrative control over NHA, and not the Vice President," he said.
The role of HUDCC is to coordinate the activities of six government shelter agencies. These agencies either have their own charters or under the Office of the President.
Tiangco said he received news that the DAP was even given to the NHA without the knowledge of Binay, noting that general manager Chito Cruz was President Benigno Aquino III’s classmate at the Ateneo.
“Contrary to the claims of this LP congressman, the NHA board only sets policies but the day to day operations, including handling funds and disbursing them is the role of the general manager who is appointed by the President. In fact, the present GM is known to be close to the President," he added.
Erice also claimed Binay has administrative hold over another shelter agency, the Home Guarantee Corporation (HGC), a government-owned and –controlled corporation -- but this is chaired by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and not Binay.
The HGC already denied receiving DAP funds, noting the allegation of Erice is malicious and politically charged.
Tiangco reminded Erice to do his homework, otherwise his allegations would only boomerang towards him.
"Erice should follow the VP's example and express support for the President. Erice is more interested in defending the discredited DAP and his boss Butch Abad rather than the President who is his partymate," he said.