Aquino says Sereno distracted by impeachment proceedings
ABS-CBN News Nov 27 2017
MANILA – Former President Benigno Aquino III said Monday the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is probably a way to harass her and that it has been distracting her from work.
“Malamang,” he said in response to reporters’ question if Sereno was being harassed with the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.
“At the very least medyo nadi-distract si Chief Justice. Maraming mga issue sa harap ng Supreme Court. Baka may darating pang ibang issue na matindi na sana naka-concentrate ang Korte Suprema sa pagju-judge judiciously,” he said during the commemoration of the 85th birth anniversary of his father, Senator Ninoy Aquino, in Parañaque.
(At the very least, the Chief Justice is distracted. The Supreme Court is facing a lot of issues. There may be other pressing issues that would arise that the Court hopefully could concentrate on judging judiciously.)
Aquino said unlike the case of Sereno’s predecessor, Renato Corona, who was removed from power during his term, Sereno’s accuser has no personal knowledge in the allegations against her.
It was Aquino who appointed Sereno as Corona’s successor in 2012.
Aquino said evidence against Corona came from the late chief justice himself that he did not declare his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth publicly and misdeclared his bank accounts.
An impeachment complaint is also looming against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who Aquino also appointed.
“Hindi kaya dapat may iba tayong dapat pagka-abalahan?,” Aquino said of these moves.
(Shouldn’t we be focused on other things?)
Asked if he is satisfied with the Duterte administration, Aquino said there are things being done that appear to be the reversal of his administration’s point of view.
“Parang maraming bagay na tila baligtad sa pananaw namin. Sana ang pinagbabasehan nila mas tama sa pinag-basehan namin,” he said.
(It seems there are a lot of things where we have opposing views. Hopefully they are basis is better than ours.)
As an example, Aquino questioned the administration’s offer to a Chinese firm to be a telecommunications player, citing its implications to national security given a maritime dispute with Beijing.
“Mahirap naman yata yung communications infrastructure mo sa potential na baka magkaroon tayo ng actual na conflict,” he said.
(It could be difficult if your communications infrastructure is connected to a country where we have potential conflict). – With reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
Aguirre orders NBI to probe Aquino, others over DAP
Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News Nov 24 2017
Creates task force for DAP probe
(UPDATE) The Department of Justice(DOJ) has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate former President Benigno S. Aquino III and several other past and incumbent public officials for possible malversation of public funds in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II issued Department Order No. 749 for the purpose.
The justice chief also issued Department Order No. 751 directing the NBI to create a special task force which will be under the direct supervision of Justice Undersecretary Antonio Kho, Jr.
Former Manila City Councilor Greco Belgica and the Coalition for Investigation and Prosecution sought the probe, after they reportedly had a hard time securing the necessary documents pertaining to the DAP and 116 projects under the disbursement program.
Apart from Aquino, Belgica’s group sought an investigation against
former Budget Secretary Butch Abad, former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo, former Transportation and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Senator Franklin Drilon, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, former Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, and Atty. Yolanda D. Doblon (Director General, Senate Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office).
The DAP, instituted during the previous Aquino administration, was raised before the Supreme Court, with the high court striking down several acts and practices under the program as unconstitutional namely,
a) the withdrawal of unobligated allotment from the implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriation Acts (GAAs);
b) the cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive; and,
Belgica was one of the petitioners in this case before the high court.
In a statement, Belgica hoped all those responsible for alleged anomalies under the program be held accountable “regardless of political affiliation.”
“We only pray for truth and justice to be served. DAP is a crime that has been declared almost 4 years ago. Its investigation and the prosecution of its perpetrators have been since then by those who committed it and with many of those who still remain in power.
“DOJ and NBI can now use our template to build up cases against all culprits regardless of political affiliation and verify what we submitted. All our evidence have been submitted to DOJ… Parusahan ang dapat parusahan,” Belgica said.
The DAP was also said to have been used by the previous administration to “bribe” senators into ousting former Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial, but officials of the Aquino administration said the program was only intended to spur government spending and economic growth.
The Ombudsman early this year cleared Aquino from charges over the alleged illegal implementation of the P72-billion DAP. Former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was the only official found liable for its supposed illegal implementation.
Ex-Pres Aquino denies hand in alleged destabilization
Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News Nov 27 2017
MANILA – Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said Monday his camp had nothing to do with alleged attempts to destabilize the current government.
“Hindi sa amin nagmumula iyon. Baka dapat tumingin sila sa paligid nila,” he said in response to reporters’ questions.Ninoy Aquino in Parañaque.
(It did not come from us. Maybe they should look around them.)
Aquino, whose Liberal Party is associated with the opposition, said he had offered help to the administration, but he was refused and he could not do anything about it.
He said he wondered why all he did during his time was now being seen in a negative light.
Aquino also said he saw no basis for President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a revolutionary government since the processes provided for in the Constitution were still working.
“Napakalakas ng executive at pinadadama kung gaano kalakas ang executive so kung yung revolutionary government talagang yung buong sistema ay nag-fail na hindi magawa ang dapat gawin yun baka pwede pag isipan, ngayon hindi ko nakikita yun,” he said.
(The executive is very powerful and it is being felt. Under a revolutionary government, the entire system fails and what needs to be done can’t be done. I don’t see that now.)
“May pangangailangan ba? Talaga bang hindi na madaan sa mga prosesong nakasaad sa ating saligang batas?”
(Is there a need? Can’t we do it under constitutional processes?)
Aquino said he might take part in opposing the proposed revolutionary government but he would not take the lead.
“I will be taking part also but not in a central role.”
Duterte had brought up the idea of a revolutionary government on several occasions, where he cited alleged destabilization plots against him, but he has since clarified his stand on it.
Aquino led the commemoration of the birth anniversary of his father, martyred senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., with a mass at the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat. He was joined by his sisters Ballsy, Pinky and Viel.
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