Defense department got P666M in DAP, too
MANILA, Philippines – It's not just lawmakers that got a share of the executive's controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The Deparment of National Defense (DND) received P665.6 million during the fiscal year 2011-2012, according to a department press release.
Bulk of the funding was alloted to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
PAF received P397.3 million to fund on-base housing facilities, procurement of communication equipment, and the implementation of the various projects. The projects included search and rescue requirements, base facilities and equipment, and the repair, renovation, and rehabilitation of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) facilities in Lipa, Batangas.
(The AETC is the principal training institution of the PAF and is responsible for the education of soldiers, officers, and pilots of the Air Force.)
The PSG received P248.3 million to fund, among others, repair of building and barracks, the installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) equipment at the Malacañang Complex, and the upgrade of the PSG’s communications equipment from analogue to digital with a secured encryption capability.
The DAP came under fire after constitutionalists questioned its legality – it moved around budget items without the approval of Congress.
The likes of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, former Senator Joker Arroyo, constitutional framer Fr Joaquin Bernas Jr, and former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno have said that the DAP was an "invention" of the executive branch and had no legal basis.
The Constitution provides that government budget must come from Congress. The President is empowered to realign savings from implemented programs, but not transfer allocations from slow-moving projects, as Malacañang did.
The DAP attracted controversy after the budget department admitted allocating it to lawmakers – supposedly to address slow economic growth, but which had been interpreted by critics as a bribe.
Sen Jinggoy Estrada said in a privilege speech that the senators who voted to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona got P50 million each after the impeachment trial.
The budget department said the amount came from the DAP but was "not a bribe." – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com