‘Another one of Duterte’s lies’ – De Lima, Trillanes on DAP allegation

Camille Elemia
‘Another one of Duterte’s lies’ – De Lima, Trillanes on DAP allegation
'Malinaw po: Hindi lang mamamatay tao ang pangulong ito, kundi ubod po nang sinungaling. A big, pathological liar!' says detained Senator Leila de Lima

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday, September 21, slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for his “blatant lie” that  the two are involved in irregularities stemming from the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Duterte said on Wednesday that said the two senators – his fiercest critics – may soon face cases on the DAP, which the Supreme Court declared partly unconstitutional in 2014.

“The latest lie is about my alleged involvement in an alleged DAP anomaly, along with Senator Trillanes. Wow! What kind of lies are Duterte and his evil lieutenants concocting this time?” De Lima said in a statement on Thursday.

For the detained senator, Duterte is not just a “murderer” but also a “pathological liar,” citing his “lies” about her alleged involvement in illegal drug trade, among others.

Malinaw po: Hindi lang mamamatay tao ang pangulong ito, kundi ubod po nang sinungaling. A big, pathological liar! A real sicko. Dahil nabuking, inamin ni Duterte na imbento lang nya yung mga foreign accounts ni Senator Trillanes,” she said.

(It’s clear. This President is not just a killer but also a top-notch liar. A big, pathological liar! A real sicko. Because he was caught lying, Duterte admitted that he indeed invented the foreign accounts of Senator Trillanes.) 

Trillanes claimed the Commission on Audit cleared his projects involving DAP.

“Another imbento ni (invention of) Duterte. Anyway, na audit na lahat yan ng COA at na clear lahat yan na wala anomalya. Lahat ng proyekto na inallocate ng aking opisina na mula sa PDAF o DAP ay nakapublish sa aking website (Anyway, the COA has audited that and has cleared everything. All projects, funded by PDAF or DAP, that my office allocated are published in my website),” Trillanes said in a statement.

In making the allegation on Wednesday, Duterte did not explain how De Lima, who was justice secretary under the administration of Benigno Aquino III, was involved in DAP. As for Trillanes, the President accused the senator of earning from DAP schemes.

DAP, implemented by the Aquino administration from 2011 to 2013, was used to divert unused funds from slow-moving government projects, activities, or programs to quick-disbursing ones, supposedly to stimulate the country’s economy, following “sluggish” government spending in 2011. (READ: Where did DAP funds go?)

The High Court stated that the cross-border transfers of savings of the executive department to offices outside it is illegal since the President can only transfer savings within the same agency.

Trillanes dismissed the allegations and said the DAP allegation is Duterte’s way to distract the public from the issue of the offshore bank accounts.

“Panglihis lang yan ng issue dahil napahiya na siya doon sa foreign bank accounts issue (It is meant to distract the public because he lost face in the foreign bank accounts issue)” Trillanes said. 

Trillanes has disproved the existence of his two supposed accounts in Singapore, as alleged by Duterte himself and his allies.

Duterte, in response, admitted he just “invented” one of the bank account numbers as “bait” for his critic. Malacañang has since defended Duterte’s lie and said it is just an isolated case. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com