Answer DAP raps, Ombudsman orders P-Noy, Abad | Inquirer News

Answer DAP raps, Ombudsman orders P-Noy, Abad

/ 03:50 AM September 28, 2016

 Former Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and  former President Benigno Aquino. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

Former Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and former President Benigno Aquino. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

THE OMBUDSMAN has ordered former President Benigno S. Aquino III and his budget secretary Florencio Abad to answer the technical malversation complaint lodged against them in connection with the outlawed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

In a two-page order, the Office of the Ombudsman gave Aquino, Abad and their witnesses 10 days to file counter-affidavits.


Failure to do so would be considered a waiver of their right to submit controverting evidence in the criminal complaint filed against them by leftist activists in July.


The case will be deemed submitted for resolution on receipt of the counter-affidavits—on the basis of the evidence presented by the complainants and Aquino and Abad—unless the witnesses are required for clarificatory questioning.

Budgeting mechanism

The DAP was a budgeting mechanism thought up by the Department of Budget and Management in 2011 that moved appropriated government funds around purportedly to build infrastructure, accelerate spending and boost the economy.

But in February 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that certain budgetary practices under the DAP were unconstitutional.

The particular acts included the cross-border transfer of funds and the declaration of savings before the end of a fiscal year in order to realign the funds to items not listed in the budget law passed by Congress.

The 26-page complaint for technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers, and graft and corruption was filed on July 8, one week after Aquino stepped down from office on June 30 and lost his presidential immunity.


The complainants included Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption chair Dante Jimenez, social activist Mae Paner (Juana Change), Alliance of Concerned Teachers chair Benjamin Valbuena, Courage president Ferdinand Gaite, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas secretary general Antonio Flores, Gabriela secretary general Joan Mae Salvador, Kadamay chair Gloria Arellano and Philippine Heart Center Employees Association-Alliance of Health Workers president Bonifacio Carmona Jr.

Sufficient evidence

They accused Aquino and Abad of diverting funds appropriated from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 national budgets to programs they themselves identified and approved.

Reyes in a statement on Tuesday said, “We believe there is sufficient evidence for the case to be filed in court since it is clear that all DAP orders were signed by Aquino and Abad.”

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“Such abuse of public funds should never be repeated. We urge the executive and legislative branches to always abide by the SC rulings on the DAP and PDAF [Priority Development Assistance Fund] and to truly abolish pork barrel spending by government officials,” he said.

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