MANILA - Did Senate President Franklin Drilon get a P1 billion allocation from the disbursement acceleration program (DAP)?
According to Drilon, reports that he received such an amount are lies.
"This is a blatant lie, and I will not dignify these characters with a response. If you look at it, these are pure speculations and I would like to caution that we should not give credence to these speculations as it does not help our already toxic political environment," he told reporters.
"Hindi po naman nakakatulong itong mga spekulasyon na ito, eh wala naman pong sinabi kung hindi spekulasyon lamang. Let us go on and work so that we can continue on with good governance."
The United Nationalist Alliance first talked about the alleged P1 billion disbursement amid calls for the Department of Budget and Management to disclose all documents pertaining to the DAP.
"We want to verify the information we received that one senator reportedly got over P1 billion from DAP. That's why it is important that the list Sec. Abad will be presenting anytime this month before the finance committee should reflect every peso requested by lawmakers," UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco said in a statement.
While Tiangco declined to identify the lawmaker who received the P1 billion DAP, a Manila Standard Today report quoted Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz as saying that it was Drilon who got the funds.
He said the P1 billion allocation included P450 million allocation for Jalaur Dam project, P150 million for the Iloilo River Development Program and P100 million for Iloilo Convention Center.
Drilon earlier confirmed that he received a P100 million from the DAP. He said the bulk of the funds went to construction of the Iloilo Convention Center.
Other senators got P100 million or P50 million DAP allocations each.
The DAP, an economic stimulus fund discontinued by the Aquino administration, has been linked to an alleged attempt to influence senators to vote to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial.
Three senators who voted to acquit Corona - Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Miriam Defensor Santiago and Joker Arroyo - did not receive DAP funds.
In the interview, Drilon urged the media not to believe reports that he received huge amounts from DAP.
"Wag po sanang kagatin yung ganitong mga spekulasyon o kasinungalingan. Hindi naman po ito nakakatulong sa ating objective, which is to provide better governance for our country," he said.