MANILA – With the Office of the Ombudsman undergoing preliminary investigation over the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad stressed that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III approved and signed the program.
“We endorse to the President and the President has the final approval… I sign the endorsements and the approval. [It] is approved by the President. Of course, all the projects are approved by the President,” Abad said in a Philippine Star report.
The Budget Secretary was among the other Malacañang officials whose possible culpability over the DAP has been probed. Aquino, on the other hand, was spared from the investigation because of the immunity from suit accorded to him while in office.
“That’s the finding of the Ombudsman so that’s it and I think, for me, that’s fine because you know the President has to be busy doing what he has to be doing… so I would want him not to have any distraction,” he said in an interview after a budget hearing.
Abad, however, asserted that the DAP was passed in good faith.
DAP probe just ‘drama’
Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who has declared himself as the leader of the opposition, earlier scoffed at the Ombudsman’s investigation over the DAP and Aquino’s immunity from suit.
“Drama. Nothing will happen there. If that is true, they should be suspended already… The people who committed wrongdoings under this administration, especially Mr. Abad should be held accountable,” Binay said in an interview.
“It’s not good to enforce selective justice. If there is evidence, they should be charged,” he added.