MANILA - The Commission on Audit (COA) is now looking into the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that allowed public funds to be given to senators after the ouster of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, COA chairperson Grace Pulido Tan said on Monday.
Tan, in an interview on ANC Talkbalk, said the investigation on DAP will focus on implementing agencies.
"Makikita namin anong participation ng legislators," she said.
Malacanang said Monday it has already suspended the DAP around the same time that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) was also suspended.
In a press conference, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda insisted, nonetheless, that there is nothing irregular in the DAP.
"DAP is a program where we induce acceleration spending. There are projects which are worthwhile," Lacierda said.
"And, by the way, let me also state that this amount goes to the implementing agencies," he said.
The issue of the DAP came up after Senator Jinggoy Estrada said in a privilege speech that Malacanang gave senators incentives after ousting Corona from office.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) then said that 20 senators indeed received DAP allocations after the ouster of Corona. Budget Secretary Butch Abad insisted these were not bribes or incentives.
Senate President Franklin Drilon received P100 million, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile received P92 million, and the others received a smaller amount.
Abad said the list also included former Senator Joker Arroyo, who voted to acquit Corona.
This, as Tan told ANC the agency is also looking into resident auditors in agencies to find out why they did not see irregularities exposed in the special audit of lawmakers' pork barrel funds.
"We are in the process of inquiring every resident auditor bakit hindi nila nakita yung nakita namin," she said.
"Tuloy-tuloy ang aming paglilinis ng aming bakuran. Dini-disiplina namin. Some cases are now with the Ombudsman," she added.
Tan urged the public to visit https://www.i-kwenta.com for public feedback and quick access to COA's audit reports.
People can also email COA at [email protected] for information, reports or complaints or text 0915-539-1957. - with ANC