As the end of his term draws near, President Benigno Aquino III continues to justify why his administration rolled out the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
In an exclusive interview with GMA News anchor Vicky Morales, Aquino maintained that despite the controversies surrounding it, the DAP was beneficial to Filipinos.
"Ang bottomline noon... nakatulong sa kababayan natin...Pano dapat magiging mali yun," he said.
The President said he is prepared to face cases that may be filed against him over the DAP, but he does not believe his fate should follow that of his predecessors — Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo — who were imprisoned for the misuse of public funds.
The DAP, introduced by the Aquino administration to speed up public spending, was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on July 2014.
"Besides the fact that...we served in this office, yun lang ang similarity yata namin. The fate that befell them, why should it befall me if I didn't do that which they were either accused and convicted of? " he said.
"I'll wait na lang. If anybody decides to file, we are ready to respond," he added.
Aquino also addressed criticisms that the economic growth didn't reach those at the grassroots.
He revealed that he and his advisers reevaluated the economic strategy when they noticed that the poverty statistics in 2011 and 2012 weren't improving. The "vastly expanded" 4Ps was the product of the new strategy.
"Inabandon na namin ang 'trickle down.' Eventually the growth in the economy will be benefiting everybody," Aquino said.
"May nagsasabi kasi kung minsan 10 year, 20 years of continuous growth to really effect changes," he added.
The outgoing president also highlighted some of his administrations' achievements that go unnoticed amid the criticisms.
"How many hotels were built? How many more flights are flying? How many tourists have been opened because of all of these tourism roads? It appeared magically? Yung BPO industry for instance, we will have 1.3 million direct employees by this year, producing $25 billion for the economy," Aquino said.
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