Drilon dared to take ‘hair style challenge’

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

AFTER taking world famous ALS ice bucket challenge, Navotas City Representative Toby Tiangco dared Senate President Franklin Drilon, this time, to undergo a "hair style challenge" if proven that the senator had received close to P1 billion from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

"As he already did the ice bucket challenge, I again dare Senator Drilon to do another round of our 'hairstyle challenge'. I'm willing to do a makeover if records would show that indeed he did not receive close to a total of P1 billion DAP. But I challenge him to go all "Mohawk (hairstyle)" if the records show otherwise," Tiangco said.

Tiangco made the challenge after Drilon dismissed the allegation that he received the huge amount and describe it only "pure speculation".

"I don't think it's purely speculation. Senator Drilon should not dismiss the issue, he should answer the issue on DAP directly because that is what the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) records apparently show. May mga pinagpala talagang mga mambabatas kaysa sa iba, at batay sa DBM, kasama dyan si Senator Drilon," Tiangco said.

Tiangco said he believed that Liberal Party lawmakers received "bigger and juicier" slices of the DAP compared to other lawmakers.

The lawmaker said that Drilon's pet project, the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project in Iloilo province, is one of the biggest recipients of DAP.

He noted that Drilon's office even issued a press release, saying President Benigno Aquino III ordered the initial release of P450 million to finance the engineering design and construction of the dam.

"I'm doubly amused whenever he is pressed how much DAP he received, and he would only mention P100 million--which is a bonus of his role during the Corona trial in 2012. He admitted that the P100 million went to the Iloilo Convention Center project," Tiangco said.

In his August 26 letter to Abad, Tiangco requested a more detailed report on DAP funds that benefited projects of select members of Congress.

Tiangco said that "since the letters are the basis for determining the nature and amounts of the projects that went to each legislator, kindly include ALL of the letter-requests sent by each legislator."

The United Nationalist Alliance secretary general said that based on the DBM records, Drilon received more since there is another P170.3 million allotment he got from DAP for the construction of 1,000 of the 4,000 houses intended for those who will be relocated from Iloilo River.

"If we are to compute the cost for the 4,000 housing units, Drilon would have gotten way more than P1 billion for all his pet projects in Iloilo," he said.

Meanwhile, Abakada party-list Representative Jonathan Dela Cruz said Drilon received P450 million of the P1 billion allocation for Jalaur Dam project, P150 million for the Iloilo River Development Program and P100 million for Iloilo Convention Center.

Tiangco requested Abad to submit an itemized list of the releases of funds under the DAP that were coursed through senators and congressmen, number and date of the Special Allotment Release Order (Saro), the amount per legislator and implementing agencies, but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has not released any detailed report.

"If Drilon is really interested in transparency, then why does he not urge and compel his MAD (Mar-Abad-Drilon) buddy to immediately release all the information on DAP released through lawmakers. The commitment of Abad was made during the budget briefing on August 6, is it believable that in this age of computers, this information could not be extracted by the push of a button. It's been almost one month already," Tiangco said.

He said that most of the DAP funds went to legislators closely identified with the ruling party, detailing the distribution of over P11-billion DAP funds to provinces and congressional districts. (Sunnex)

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