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The pork barrel that Aquino, Abad created

/ 02:35 AM June 19, 2014

The P10-billion pork barrel scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. President Aquino has his own pork barrel which he and Budget Secretary Butch Abad created. The constitutionality of its existence is now being challenged before the Supreme Court, which has yet to decide on the issue.

Purportedly designed to accelerate government spending in order to address the slow GDP growth at the time of its creation, this barrel of pork is called the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP. The funds supposedly come from the “unused appropriations” in the national budgets of previous years—specifically, 2010 and 2011. Based on reports, the President and Abad have allotted from this barrel P72.11 billion to various “projects.”

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How did the people come to know about the DAP? It was first heard of on Sept. 28, 2013, and immediately it looked like the greasiest of all pork barrels. The pork was used by the President to “favor” the senators who voted to convict then Chief Justice Renato Corona. Reportedly, each was given P50 million. This disbursement for senators alone reached an incredible sum of P1.107 billion. On the other hand, members of the House of Representatives were given the amount of P10 million to P15 million.

We thank the Makabayan bloc, the Philippine Constitution Association and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for filing a case at the Supreme Court against the Aquino administration’s controversial DAP and for seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order  to prevent Malacañang from dipping into the barrel.

We call on the faithful to remain vigilant and to not allow opportunists to steal funds meant to be spent for the good of the people and our country.

Let us continue to rally behind the people’s call for the abolition of the pork barrel by reminding ourselves that it is a “business enterprise” for politicians, a source of corruption and a convenient means of looting public money, and that it perpetuates patronage politics.

Corruption is not just about legality. It is an ethical and moral issue. Many times legal instruments have been used by the powerful to hide their sins against the people and to escape public accountability. Let us make use of the law to favor the real victims of corruption—the deprived majority. But if the law would not serve the interest of truth, then let the power of people unseat the plunderers and make them accountable.

—NARDY SABINO,

general secretary,

Promotion of Church

People’s Response,

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[email protected]

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TAGS: Aquino, Butch Abad, dap, Disbursement Acceleration Program, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Makabayan bloc, Philippine Constitution Association, pork barrel, pork barrel scandal, Renato corona, Supreme Court
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