Panelo: Aquino indictment over DAP a mere ‘consuelo de bobo’
The case filed against former president Benigno S. Aquino III over the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was a mere “consuelo de bobo indictment,” President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief lawyer said on Friday.
Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo issued the statement two days after the Ombudsman indicted Aquino for usurping Congress’ budgetary powers when he approved DAP.
“While in the narrow sense the indictment of former President Benigno Aquino III is a welcome development or a push on [Duterte’s] relentless campaign against graft and corruption, it must be noted however that charge is but a consuelo de bobo indictment,” Panelo said in a statement.
He said “the crime charge should have been plunder or at the very least a case of graft and corruption,” citing that the DAP mess involves P36 billion of public funds.
“There is a glaring discrepancy of the act committed as against the complaint filed,” he said.
The present charge against Aquino, he said, was “a repeat of the anomalous previous charge against him arising out of the Mamasapano incident where instead of being charged with Reckless Imprudence Resulting To Multiple Homicide, only a Usurpation of Authority was filed.”
“There must be a rectification of this omission and the process of reversing such indictments is in progress,” he noted.
“While sometimes the wheels of justice grinds exceedingly slow,” Panelo said “it does grind, and in the end, justice will catch up on the perpetrators of the crime and reap their deserved punishment.”
“Crime does not pay no matter your status in life,” he added. /kga
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