Binigyan ng Ombudsman si dating Pangulong Noynoy Aquino at dating Budget Secretary Butch Abad ng 10 araw para sagutin ang paratang sa kanila ng GRAFT and CORRUPTION at paglabag sa KONSTITUSYON sa pagpapalakad ng Disbursenment Acceleration Program na ginamit na PANSUHOL sa mga mambabatas nuong 2012 IMPEACHMENT TRIAL ni dating Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. Nahusgahang GUILTY si CJ Corona at NAPATALSIK siya sa pwesto. Namatay na si CJ Corona. #P-Noy #Abad #LiberalParty #TuwadNaDaan #Kulong
Groups file cases vs. Aquino, Abad over DAP
Several groups on Friday filed charges against former President Benigno Aquino III and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad with the Office of the Ombudsman over the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program, some parts of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2014.
Aquino and Abad were charged with technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers, and graft and corruption by complainants led by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
“The DAP was nothing but a presidential pork taken from forced savings then realigned for pet projects of the President. It was not a stimulus program as many of the projects approved by Aquino had nothing to do with stimulating the economy,” said Zarate.
This marked the second criminal complaint filed against Aquino since he stepped down from power and lost immunity from suit on June 30.
Last week, two relatives of the 44 police commandos killed in the 2015 Mamasapano incident filed multiple homicide charges, citing Aquino’s approval of the operation which the complainants described as “flawed.” Aquino dismissed the complaint as mere harassment.
‘Neither surprising nor unexpected’
In a statement issued Friday, former deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said the charges filed by the progressive groups against Aquino were “neither surprising nor unexpected.”
Valte, also a lawyer, said the move was part of the “continuing harassment” on the former chief executive.
“This action from BAYAN is neither surprising nor unexpected. As soon as PNoy stepped down, they mobilized to rally at his Times Street home, unwilling to extend to him a peaceful homecoming,” Valte said.
“Unsatisfied, they mobilized again the next day, deliberately provoking the policemen assigned there in the hope of manufacturing violence to boost media coverage of their shenanigans,” she said.
Aquino went back to his residence at Times Street in Quezon City after he formally stepped down from office last week, June 30.
“It is clearly part of their continuing harassment of a president who refused to be cowed by their chest-beating during his entire term,” Valte said of the incident.
Aquino has yet to receive a copy of the complaint, according to Valte.
Meanwhile, Abad said on Friday that he has yet to get a copy of the complaint.
“I still have to see the complaint filed by the Makabayan. We will reply once we get a notice to do so by the Ombudsman,” he said in a text message.
SC ruling vs. parts of DAP
The SC ruled against the constitutionality of some aspects of the DAP in 2014 but modified it in February 2015 after the government filed an appeal.
In its modified ruling, the high court said DAP authors could be held liable “unless there are concrete findings of good faith in their favor by the proper tribunals determining their criminal, civil, administrative and other liabilities.”
The presumption of good faith in the implementation of DAP-related projects still stands, according to the SC.
It also declared unconstitutional the withdrawal of unobligated allotments and the declaration of such as savings, the cross-border transfer of savings, and the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded targets.
For the complainants, Abad created the DAP while Aquino signed all the DAP memoranda that pooled the savings from various implementing agencies.
“Being the authors and implementors of DAP, respondents Aquino and Abad cannot raise the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions in light of the conclusive and clear clarificatory confirmation or affirmation by the Supreme Court that the implementation of DAP contravened the Constitution and the various GAAs (General Appropriations Act),” the complaint read.
“This presumption has thus been clearly rebutted by (SC) and there can no longer be any doubt as to the unlawfulness and illegality of respondents’ acts.”
Some P144 billion was spent for projects under the DAP, an economic stimulus package which only became public after Senator Jinggoy Estrada revealed in 2013 that a portion of the funds was used to bribe senators to support the impeachment of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
The Aquino administration denied this claim, noting the DAP was instrumental in boosting economic growth from 3.7 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012.
Critics also tried to unseat Aquino through impeachment but it never worked out since the former leader’s allies had a firm hold on Congress.
The Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Unit, however, found enough basis last year to probe Abad and Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos over technical malversation and administrative charges regarding the use of nearly P400 million in DAP funds from 2011 to 2012.
The investigation report did not make any mention of Aquino, who enjoyed legal immunity when the panel wrapped up its probe in September last year. — with Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/KG/RSJ/KBK, GMA News