By Genalyn Kabiling
Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV may soon be facing complaints in connection with the implementation of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) under the previous administration.
President Duterte has revealed the imminent legal trouble for the two senators as he directed government agencies not to practice “selective justice” in pursuing erring public servants.
“What is sauce of gander is sauce for the goose. Walang yellow pa na-ano ngayon except De Lima…but she has a case coming up also sa DAP,” Duterte said during the awarding ceremony of outstanding government workers in Malacañang on Wednesday.
“I could not believe really, kasi kami mag-usap-usap. Grabe itong babae. Talagang kapal sa kapal [we were talking, this women is really thick-faced],” he said.
Back in 2011, the Aquino government implemented the DAP, which diverted government savings to other projects meant to boost economic growth. The program, that included cross-border transfer of funds and declaration of savings before yearend, however was declared largely unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2014.
President Duterte first revealed the upcoming case against De Lima in a television interview last Tuesday, saying the former justice secretary was “playing with billions.”
He observed that it was “stroke of fate” that De Lima would now face DAP complaints.
“Tama ‘yan si Erap. I believe in Erap. ‘Yung native talent niya for using that. Weather-weather lang ang buhay. Ngayon, nabaligtad na [Erap was right. I believe in Erap, his saying thst ‘life is weather-weather.’ Now, the situation has changed],” he said.
“Una ikaw ‘yung pinag — sent to prison a lot of persons on the campaign against drugs, extrajudicial killing. ‘Yun pala, number one ka. Susmaryosep. My God. Ikaw pala ang naglalaro ng billions, sa Muntinlupa pa,” he added.
In the same television interview, the President alleged that Trillanes also earned from the DAP scheme.
He earlier accused Trillanes of having hidden wealth stashed in several offshore bank accounts.
“Sa Senador mo, wala kang isang bangko lang na dinedepositahan mo? Saan pala ‘yung kinita mo sa DAP? Yung DAP case is coming up [A senator like you doesn’t have a single bank deposit? Where are your earnings from DAP? The DAP case is coming up]” he said.
Duterte also hinted that more government officials are likely to face raps for the alleged fund misuse.
“For the others na matamaan, bato-bato sa langit, huwag kayong magalit, hindi sa akin ‘yan [For the others who will get hit, don’t be angry. That’s not mine] I said, I am not into the habit of filing cases,” he said.
Asked if there are more senators implicated in the DAP controversy, Duterte said: “Meron pa, oo [Yes, there are].”