THE camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday said Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad should “face the music” even as it admitted that the plunder charges filed against the latter in connection with the Disbursement Allocation Program (DAP) will likely be thrown out by the Office of the Ombudsman.
Abad had said the plunder complaint was “incredible and baseless.”
“What is incredible is that Abad can say with a straight face there was nothing illegal or immoral about DAP. What is baseless is Abad’s persistent claim that DAP helped stimulate the economy when even the Commission on Audit (COA) says otherwise,” Rico Quicho, vice presidential spokesperson for political affairs, said.
A Commission on Audit report released last year showed that four government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) were slow or completely failed in releasing DAP funds.
The state-owned firms reported to have unspent DAP funds were the National Dairy Authority (NDA), National Electrification Administration (NEA), Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), and the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS)
But Quicho said the complaint against Abad may be dismissed.
“Knowing the partiality and selectiveness of the Ombudsman, I have serious doubts if this will prosper,” he said.
The Vice President’s camp has repeatedly scored the Ombudsman’s seeming preferential treatment for administration allies, while fast tracking cases against the Binay family.
“The Ombudsman is hell bent on consolidating the pending complaints against the Vice President and to file a plunder case against him to showcase the administration’s discredited “tuwid na daan” promise even if it directly transgresses the Constitution,” Quicho earlier said.
Various youth groups filed plunder raps against Abad last year. Among the groups were Kabataan party-list, Youth Act Now! and National Union of Students of the Philippines.
Last week, Bonifacio Alentajan, former president of the Philippine Constitution Association, filed graft and plunder charges against Abad, accusing him of illegally transferring public funds “duly appropriated to one government agency to another without legislative authority, and feloniously awarded and released P50 million each to the senators who voted for the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, or almost one billion pesos.”