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Palace defends Abad over DAP

Budget Secretary Butch Abad

Malacañang on Wednesday came to the defense of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad after a series of criticisms regarding the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) releases of the little-known Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to senators during the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.

During Wednesday’s press briefing at Malacañang, Presidential deputy spokesman Abigail Valte defended Abad, saying Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco’s criticisms has not basis since the DBM was did not release the DAP funds to fake non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

Obviously, we don’t agree with (United Nationalist Alliance secretary-general and Navotas City) Congressman (Toby) Tiangco because as far as I can remember in this particular issue, it was the senators who requested that the beneficiaries of funds (be the Napoles NGO),” Valte said.

“One, they were the ones who identified; and second, they were the ones who requested that the agency in the beginning, if I’m not mistaken, it was supposed to be (the Department of Agrarian Reform) and then they transferred it to NLDC (National Livelihood Development Corp.). And from what I understand there are documents to that effect,” Valte said.

Valte further said Abad did not identify the agencies that would execute the programs to be funded by the DBM.

Earlier, Tiangco, also the United Nationalist Alliance’s Secretary General, blasted Abad to being “too secretive” of the DAP.

Tiangco said he has been asking the DBM for the list of DAP recipients since September last year but only the partial list from the Senate and not one from the House of Representatives was provided.

Tiangco said Abad “cannot feign innocence or wash his hands of any responsibility on DAP” when he was the one releasing funds to agencies.

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