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No word from DBM on Senate invitation to hearing on DAP.

The Senate Finance Committee is ready for its inquiry into the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) but none from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has so far confirmed their participation in the hearing set for Monday, July 21.

The office of Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero said only officials from the DBM have been invited for the inquiry but a check with the Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office (LBRMO) showed no one from DBM, including its chief, Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad, has advised the Senate that they would be participating.

Nevertheless, the Senate Finance Committee inquiry will resume as originally scheduled, Senator Escudero's office said.

President Aquino in his recent televised address sought to explain his administration's DAP mechanism. Despite the President's staunch defense of the DAP, Escudero downplayed speculations that the controversy may lead to a constitutional crisis.

"These are just exaggerations, meant to heighten the tensions," Escudero said of the current situation and the relationship between the Executive and the Judicial branch.

Though the President made unfavorable remarks during his televised address, Escudero said he thinks it was only to release his frustrations ovet the SC ruling.

"He just vented out his frustration because there are many projects that would be affected due to the ruling," he said.

The President, in fact, acknowledged the SC ruling when he ordered the suspension of any new DAP-related fund releases, Escudero added..

MalacaAaAaAeA~ang's move to file a motion for reconsideration also show he respects the SC decision, he added.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV also said "a constitutional crisis will only happen if there's an impasse." He added: "This is but a demonstration of how our system of checks and balances works."


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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jul 18, 2014
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