The Commission on Audit or CoA should conduct a thorough investigation on the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP fund cash flow a few days after the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, a veteran lawmaker urged.
Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian said by conducting its own probe, CoA may clear the presidential stimulus fund of anomaly or links to any scam similar to the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
“Dapat tignan pa rin po ng CoA kung nasa tama po ang paggamit ng pera dahil may nabalitaan ako kanina sa radio na ‘yung ibang pondo raw ay napunta daw kay Napoles na naman, so dapat po bantayan mabuti ito,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian issued the call after radio reports alleged non-government organizations or NGOs of Janet Lim-Napoles received P425-million DAP funds from Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Bong Revilla, and Tito Sotto.
Gatchalian, a member of House Committee on Local Government, clarified he has yet to spot any abuse in the use of DAP funds that would constitute stealing of public funds since it reaped projects beneficial to the public.
But the lawmaker insisted CoA should still subject DAP allocations under heavy scrutiny to prevent sweeping accusations, noting that the fund came out around the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, wherein senators voted 20-3 in favor of his ouster.
“Itong pondo naman ay napunta sa mga proyektong nagagamit natin ngayon. Wala naman nakikitang pagnanakaw ng pondo. Pero nakita ko na ito ay napakasensitibong isyu dahil tama na lumabas ‘yung pondo around the time na hinatulan si Corona,” Gatchalian said.
“Kaya dapat pag-aralan mabuti para maiwasan iyong sweeping accusation dahil pati naman ‘yung hindi bumoto (pabor sa impeachment) ay binigyan rin at ‘yung amount paiba-iba rin. Kaya ‘di naman iyan pwedeng gamitin sa sweeping accusation,” he explained.
The Office of the Ombudsman already declared that they will look into the Aquino administration’s controversial DAP on Wednesday.
In a statement, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said her office would create a panel of field investigators that would look into the DAP transactions to see if any crime or offense has been committed by involved public officials.
Last Tuesday, SC declared several parts of DAP as unconstitutional in a 13-1-0 vote, ruling that the executive branch overstepped its powers using the lump sum funds under the program.
The High Court also reaffirmed that the power of the purse solely belongs to Congress. (Tim Alcantara)