Ex-President Aquino, Abad rapped at Ombudsman over DAP

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Ex-President Aquino, Abad rapped at Ombudsman over DAP

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Former President Benigno S. Aquino III and erstwhile Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio B. Abad were charged with graft, technical malversation of funds and usurpation of legislative powers before the Office of the Ombudsman on Friday in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) Chair Dante Jimenez, Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary-General Renato Reyes filed the complaint against Aquino and Abad.

The DAP was a savings impounding mechanism which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2014.

The DAP was considered by critics as the pork barrel under the Aquino administration.

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The legislative pork Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) was scrapped by the SC at the height of the so-called pork barrel scam.

Jimenez argued that Aquino and Abad should be held liable for technical malversation for diverting DAP funds for pet projects of the former President.

He added that the two former government officials should also be held liable for usurpation of legislative powers for usurping the powers of the purse of Congress.

Zarate said that the two should also be charged with graft and corruption.

“The DAP was nothing more than the presidential pork barrel taken from forced savings then realigned for pet projects of the President,” he said.

“It was not a stimulus program as many of the projects approved by Aquino had nothing to do with stimulating the economy,” Zarate added.

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He said that funds from DAP were also used to bribe lawmakers to impeach the late Chief Justice Renato Coronado Corona. (PNA)

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