House allies of President Aquino deny there was bribe after CJ Corona conviction

October 1, 2013 10:25 am 

By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA, Sept. 30 (PNA) — A close ally of the Aquino administration on Monday said there is no truth to the report that congressmen who participated and served as prosecutors in the Renato Corona Impeachment trial received P10 to P15 million bribes from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) several months after the chief magistrate was convicted.

This after Budget Secretary Florencio Abad disclosed over the weekend that each member of the House of Representatives involved in the Impeachment Trial received between P10 to P15 Million from Disbursement Allocation Program (DAP) last year.

DAP is known as lump-sum budgetary item sourced from the savings from unused budgetary items or lower-than-expected expenses of government agencies.

Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo said he did not receive any promises nor handed to him or to any of his allies who signed the Impeachment complaint.

“I have never talked to Sec. Butch Abad regarding this matter and even during the Impeachment trial,” Quimbo, who served as one of the spokesmen said in a text message.

He said that after Abad admitted disbursing the funds to selected congressmen, he could no longer remember how many of them avail of DAP. He said DAP is being requested not only by lawmakers as additional funds for their projects but local executives as well.

CIBAC party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna who is among the prosecutors said he will check his records for he can no longer remember there was any.“If there is any, I think this is not bribe but what is important is you use the funds that benefited the people and no magic,” he pointed out.

For his part, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said that it was the Senate that convicted then Chief Justice Renato Corona. Congressmen only acted as prosecutors.When asked if they receive any additional funds ranging from P10 to 15 million from DAP as Abad had announced, Belmonte did not reply.

During budget deliberation, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., said that there is nothing unusual to ask for additional funds from DAP if congressmen and local executives can justify and convince the President that the project is badly needed.

He said whether these requests will be granted or not by the DBM, it is another story. (PNA)



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