Senate President Franklin Drilon is all out in supporting President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, who delivered a speech defending the Disbursement Acceleration Program.
Just minutes after Aquino finished delivering his speech, Drilon issued a statement urging the public to focus on the alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Funds.
“The negative propaganda campaign against the administration steered people’s focus away from the real issue which is corruption in the use of the PDAF…” Drilon said.
He was referring to a scandal which claimed that at least three opposition senators funneled funds to bogus nongovernment organizations led by Janet Lim Napoles.
Drilon, a staunch Aquino ally, claimed that he was one of the targets of a “highly-funded vilification campaign” to makes him appear crooked and corrupt before the public’s eyes.
“Despite efforts of detractors to link me to Janet Napoles, the evidence shows that I did not allocate any of the PDAF allotted to me for projects to bogus NGOs,” Drilon said.
Aquino, addressing Filipinos on primetime television for the first time, slammed critics for using what he said were tactics employed by “an old politician.”
The twisted rule, he said, holds that “If you can’t explain it, muddle it; if you can’t deodorize it, make everyone else stink; if you can’t look good, make everyone look bad.”
The President was alluding to critics linking several Malacanang officials to Napoles. He also hit critics who called for the abolition of the President’s Social Fund (PSF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Neither the PSF nor the DAP are pork barrel funds, Aquino said, noting that these are accumulated savings earned through due diligence in government transactions.
“Because these funds were abused in the past, people are saying that perhaps we will abuse them today—even if no one has accused us of stealing or of using them in the wrong manner,” Aquino said.
He added, “I repeat: The issue here is theft. I did not steal. Those who have been accused of stealing are those who are sowing confusion.”
Echoing Aquino’s statements, Drilon urged the public to ensuring that those proven guilty of misusing public funds will be punished and put in jail.
“A successful resolution of this case will bring about drastic anti-corruption reforms in government and more importantly, it will purge the government of corrupt officials,” Drilon said.
This, as he noted that the Senate has began reforms to regain people’s trust, including waiving PDAF for 2013 and excluding it from the 2014 budget.
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