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Presidential spokesperson Secretary Edwin Lacierda. (photo from Solar News)

Malacañang Blasts DAP Critics

Presidential spokesperson Secretary Edwin Lacierda. (photo from Solar News)
Presidential spokesperson Secretary Edwin Lacierda. (photo from Solar News)

“Their style is DOM. They deny, they obscure, they misdirect.”

That was said by Presidential spokesperson Secretary Edwin Lacierda in a televised press briefing against critics of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) employed by the administration.

The DAP recently made headlines when it was implicated in the Php50-million additional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel given to legislators after the conviction of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

In a privilege speech against his accusers in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada revealed the existence of the additional funds after the trial and caused instant public criticism over its use.

Senate President Franklin Drilon was quick to clarify that Sen. Estrada apologized after the speech and said the latter did not intend for it to sound like a bribe or a reward for conviction.

Many of the critics of the DAP are asking for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III over legality of the use of the funds.

Sec. Lacierda said Pres. Aquino’s critics are trying to divert attention from the actual issue of corruption and the blatant misuse of public funds.

“They are deviating from the issue so they are DOM. That is the strategy of our enemies against reform,” said Sec. Lacierda.

Sec. Lacierda did not identify individuals.

“The issue is who stole the people’s money. Why is the person pursuing reforms being asked to be impeached… being asked to resign. It seems the world is upside-down,” he also said.

He addes that critics questioning the legality of DAP should instead divert their energies to investigations against those who allegedly stole from public coffers.

The Department of Budget and Management, the main executive department involved in the use of the DAP, said the funds were sourced from surplus of previous budgets of the national government, and were meant to answer underspending in previous years.

Malacañang insists that the DAP is legal.

(with reports from The Philippine Star)