Senator Francis Escudero, Chairperson Committee on Finance, along with Senator Nancy Binay, presides the deliberation of the 2015 proposed budget of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) on Tuesday (August 26,2014) at the Senate Building in Pasay City. (MNS photo)

Senator Francis Escudero, Chairperson Committee on Finance, along with Senator Nancy Binay, presides the deliberation of the 2015 proposed budget of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) on Tuesday (August 26,2014) at the Senate Building in Pasay City. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Nancy Binay urged the Senate on Wednesday to continue its investigation into the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and hold those responsible for it accountable following the Supreme Court’s final decision declaring parts of the DAP unconstitutional.

“We welcome the upholding of the 2014 Supreme Court decision which declared unconstitutional the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program,” Binay said in a statement.

“I am likewise calling on my colleagues in the Senate to continue our hearing on the DAP as it is important to bring to light how P167 billion of the people’s money was diverted to other government projects. It is about time that we get to the bottom of this issue, and uncover the persons responsible for hijacking the national budget,” she said.

The high court voted 13-0 on Tuesday to affirm its July 1, 2014, ruling which declared the DAP unconstitutional but modified it to allow the augmentation of funds for specific projects given allocations under the General Appropriations Act (GAA). The high tribunal also said that only the authors of the DAP may be held liable in case legal action arises.

Sa punto pong ito, napakaimportante na ipagpatuloy natin ang imbestigasyon sa DAP,” Binay said.

Dapat po ay ma-account ng Department of Budget and Management (DBM) kung saan at kanino nila ibinigay ang P167 billion. Nagsalita na po ang Supreme Court na unconstitutional ang ginawa ng DBM, at may kailangan may managot dito,” she added.

It was Binay who grilled Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad on fund transfers made by the executive branch to the Commission of Elections (Comelec) and the Commission on Audit (COA).

Binay also expressed dismay over the Department of Transportation and Communications’ (DOTC) surrendering of P4.5 billion in MRT funding to the DAP. (MNS)