Citing sufficient evidence, the Ombudsman has ordered both former President Benigno Aquino III and former budget secretary Florencio Abad to answer the complaint against them regarding the technical malversation complaint aligned with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Both Aban and Aquino was given 10 days to issue a counter-affidavit, 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.
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.
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.”
“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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