Gordon: Aquino, Abad should have been indicted for more serious offenses
Senator Richard Gordon on Thursday said the Office of the Ombudsman should have indicted former President Benigno Aquino III and former Budget Secretary Butch Abad for more serious charges such as malversation, graft, and corruption.
On Wednesday, Aquino and Abad were indicted by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales for usurpation of legislative powers over the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Gordon, the chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, agrees with the decision of the Ombudsman but said he would have chosen to indict the two for “more stringent offenses.”
“Though I don’t know all the facts yet, I would have chosen the more stringent offenses which are graft and corruption and malversation. They were even guilty of malversation, technical malversation,” Gordon said in statement.
“’Yung sa malversation, absorbed na ang usurpation doon eh. In order to commit malversation, they usurped the powers of Congress,” he added.
Gordon explained that Abad and Aquino deliberately substituted their judgement for the judgement of Congress when they tampered with the appropriations by declaring it as savings and spent the funds somewhere else.
“Imagine, declaring savings in the middle of the year. In any language, savings can only be declared at the end of the year. They thought nobody could question them. Nakikita mo, nilulusot talaga nila. They thought they could get away with it,” Gordon he said.
The senator also claimed that the Aquino administration repeatedly committed such acts, citing the procurement of P 3.5-billion worth of Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine and the alleged misue of P 10.6-billion funds of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. allotted for senior citizens.
“It goes into habit, which is why they should file a bigger case. Because in Dengvaxia they did the same, they transferred money. Then in the PhilHealth case, again they transferred money for purposes other than what it was intended for,” he pointed out.
“So may habit. Pag may habit, that’s considered aggravating,” Gordon added. /vvp
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