ILOILO City – Cause-oriented groups today trooped to the Office of the Ombudsman to file a 26 page malversation case against former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio ‘Butch’ Abad for approving and implementing the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which was declared unconstitutional and illegal by the Supreme Court.
The complainants are Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Secretary General Renato M. Reyes, Jr., Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) National Chairperson Benjamin Valbuena,Confederation For Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) President Ferdinand Gaite,Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) Founding Chairman/President Dante LA. Jimenez, Mae P. Paner of the Juana Change Movement, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Philipinas (KMP) Secretary General Antonio Flores, GABRIELA Secretary General Joan Mae Salvador, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) National Chairperson Gloria G. Arellano and Philippine Heart Center Employees Association-Alliance of Health Workers President Bonifacio S. Carmona, Jr.
“Aside from technical malversation, Ex-Pres.Aquino and former Sec. Abad are also being charged with usurpation of legislative powers as well as graft and corruption. The DAP was nothing more than presidential pork taken from forced savings then realigned for pet projects of the President. It was not a stimulus program as many of the projects approved by Aquino had nothing to do with stimulating the economy. It was presidential pork used to entice lawmakers to impeach then convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona,” said Rep. Zarate.
BAYAN secretary general Renato Reyes, meanwhile said that “the allegations in the complaint were originally aired via the impeachment complaint filed before the House of Representatives in 2014. However, the Liberal Party-dominated chamber did not give the impeachment complainants a chance to present evidence on the culpability of Aquino. It is only now that Aquino is no longer in power that we are able to revive our push for accountability.”/PT