Solon wants Aquino charged for graft after being indicted for DAP scam
Former President Benigno Aquino III and his Budget Secretary Florencio Abad should not only be indicted for usurpation of legislative power but also for technical malversation and graft over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), a lawmaker asserted on Wednesday.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, one of the complainants, welcomed the Ombudsman’s indictment of Aquino and Abad, but said the two should be “indicted as well for technical malversation and graft charges as both author and architect of the multibillion presidential pork barrel called DAP.”
“We will still study other options to make them accountable. #DAPatManagotLahatNaSangkot,” Zarate added.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes echoed Zarate’s views saying, “We would have preferred that our motion for reconsideration be granted in full, with malversation included in the charges, but we welcome the new findings just the same.”
Reyes hoped that there would truly be accountability on the issue.
“Hindi pa ito tapos. We started the legal battle at the SC, in the landmark Araullo decision on DAP. We intend to see it through to its logical conclusion so that justice may be served. The people reject pork barrel corruption in all its forms. DAP should never be allowed to happen again,” he added.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Office of the Ombudsman said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales found probable cause to file a case against Aquino and Abad before the Sandiganbayan.
She ordered the indictment of the two for violation of Article 239 of the Revised Penal Code but the indictment may still be subjected to a motion for reconsideration.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Zarate, Reyes, Benjamin Valbuena, Dante LA Jimenez, Mae Paner, Antonio Flores, Gloria Arellano and Bonifacio Carmona, Jr. in 2016 against Aquino and Abad.
In 2017, the intial findings of the Ombudsman let Aquino off the hook.
Zarate and Reyes’ group then filed a motion for reconsideration which, after a year, was granted by Morales. /vvp
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