Charges filed vs Abad for releasing funds ‘for Corona impeachment’
MANILA, Philippines — A lawyer brought plunder and graft charges against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in the Office of the Ombudsman, on Thursday, for allegedly illegally disbursing nearly P1 billion in Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds to bribe senators, in 2012, to impeach then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
In a nine-page complaint, Bonifacio Alentajan said Abad, the main proponent of the Aquino administration’s savings-impounding mechanism, “misappropriated, converted, misused public funds without proper authority from Congress.”
He also accused the budget secretary of usurpation of legislative power and authority as stated in Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code and of obstruction of justice.
To bolster his allegations, Alentajan cited the July 1, 2014, consolidated resolution of the Supreme Court, which struck down the DAP as unconstitutional.
“Clearly, therefore, from the doctrinal findings of facts of the Supreme Court and the judicial admissions of (Abad), he transferred funds duly appropriated to one government agency to another without legislative authority,” Alentajan said.
He said Abad “feloniously awarded and released” P50 million to every senator who voted to unseat Corona from the high court during the impeachment trial.
“Indubitably, (Abad) misappropriated, converted, misused public funds without proper authority from Congress,” he added.
Alentajan, however, did not accuse Abad of amassing and accumulating at least P50 million in public funds, one of the basic requirements in a plunder case.
Voting 13-0, the high court had declared as illegal the stimulus package which the government introduced to spur economic development by allocating “unobligated” savings of government agencies for other use.
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, now detained for plunder and graft in relation to his alleged role in the P10-billion pork barrel racket, first disclosed in a privilege speech that senators were given at least P50 million worth of projects by the Department of Budget and Management in exchange for their votes to impeach Corona.
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