Here are 10 questions Pres. Noynoy Aquino should answer about the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the pork barrel. I hope he does so in his televised speech later today.
1. Now that the SC has ruled the key elements of your Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional, do you still insist that you did not do anything wrong or illegal?
2. What projects, activities and programs (PAPs) did you cull the DAP funds from? Aside from being “slow moving,” is there a more substantial basis for these PAPs to be stopped and the appropriated funds for such pooled and declared as savings?
3. Was the slowdown in government spending in the first year of your term deliberately done to later justify the massive realignment of funds that followed under the DAP?
4. What was your criteria in approving projects, activities and programs funded by DAP? Why spend P2 billion, for example, for infrastructure projects in your home province of Tarlac? Or P5.4 billion for landowners’ compensation that would partly go to the compensation of your family’s Hacienda Luisita?
5. If you truly believed in the need to adjust the national budget or fund items not contemplated under the General Appropriations Act (GAA), why did you not ask for a supplemental budget from Congress instead of coursing it through a legally tenuous mechanism like the DAP?
6. Why were DAP allocations of anywhere from P50 million to P100 million given only to senators who voted to impeach former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012? Similarly, why were DAP allocations of at least P10 million each given only to congressmen who voted to impeach Corona? Don’t you consider this bribery?
7. Considering that during the Arroyo administration, you riled against and even filed a bill to curb the President’s powers to impound and realign funds appropriated by Congress, what made you change your mind such that when it was your turn to be president, you created a mechanism that would surpass what your predecessor did?
8. As the approving authority for the release of funds under DAP, don’t you think you are also accountable if said funds end up in the pockets of corrupt public officials and private persons?
9. Why does your office refuse to release the full details of the PAPs funded by DAP?
10. In the spirit of accountability and “daang matuwid,” shouldn’t you and Sec. Butch Abad resign from your posts?#