MANILA - Senator Serge Osmeña said it is the Palace, not the lawmakers, that should disclose the details on how the funds under the disbursement acceleration program (DAP) were spent.
For the Palace to place the responsibility on the lawmakers is a diversionary tactic, according to Osmeña. He pointed out that it is the budget department that has the documents to show how the DAP was used.
“That’s what I call diverting the attention of the public,” Osmeña said.
“Nasa inyo ang listahan, pinapalabas ninyo na tinatago namin. Sabi ko, that’s a very naughtY trick. Parang, ‘Ilabas naman ninyo ipakita naman ninyo.’ But the list is with them, because it’s with DBM [Department of Budget and Management]. DBM ang nagi-issue ng SARO [Special Allotment Release Order], hindi naman kami e. Tapos ang COA [Commission on Audit] meron din. Pero pinalabas ko na rin para wala na silang masasabi… Pero sila, ayaw naman nila ipalabas kung saan nila ginastos ang DAP.”
Osmeña has nonetheless made public the SAROs and the list of projects funded by his P50 million allocation under the DAP.
He said senators were not told about the existence of the DAP when they were asked to nominate projects using additional funds.
“I never thought there was such an animal,” he said.
While the President cannot be haled to court over the matter during the presidency, his subordinates could be sued, said Osmeña.
Asked if the President should apologize after the DAP was declared unconstitutional, Osmeña said, “Right now, the case is going to be subjected to a motion for reconsideration. If the Supreme Court upholds its earlier decision and remember that was a 13-0 vote ha, then yes, he should apologize.”
He said that President Aquino “should explain” the DAP to the public through a nationwide broadcast or in his State of the Nation Address.