By Janice M. Cave
MANILA, (PNA) — A Palace official expressed confidence the government can defend before the Supreme Court the legality of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“We’re confident we can ably defend the position on the creation as well as use of the executive [department] of the DAP… we’ll be ready to defend now that it has been challenged before the Court,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told reporters in a media briefing.
She said the Office of the Solicitor General has yet to receive a copy of the petition filed by losing senatorial candidate Greco Belgica.
“If they believe in the correctness of the position, then we will meet the challenges head on,” she said.
Pres. Benigno Aquino III maintained that the use of DAP is legal and constitutional, saying it is just realigned savings to accelerate spending.
This is contrary to allegations made by some individuals, including former Sen. Joker Arroyo, who said there is no enabling law for the release of DAP funds without approval from Congress.
In his privilege speech, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said P50 million from DAP funds were released to senators who voted for the conviction of former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona. But Palace officials said the fund goes to implementing agencies and not to the lawmakers.