Ombudsman must spare no one and recover all the DAP loot

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It’s premature for the nation to be satisfied by the decision of the Ombudsman to conduct a preliminary investigation of certain officials of the Aquino administration for wrongdoing in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

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It is premature because Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales does not intend to investigate everyone who is responsible, especially the most responsible of all—President Aquino.

It leaves the nation dissatisfied because it does not cover all of the monstrous irregularity, which involved no less than P147 billion of public money.

The Ombudsman’s action should spare no one.

It should cover the whole lot of responsible officials and recover the whole loot.

This crime is the grossest and boldest ever committed by a sitting government in our country’s history.

Aquino’s ‘good governance’ claims just a joke     
Ironically and perversely, President Aquino has touted good governance as the signature achievement of his administration. We say that the depredations under the DAP prove that his mantras “Good governance is good economics” and “Daang matuwid” are nothing but lies.

When the president hosts the summit of APEC leaders next month, we should punctuate every Aquino boast of good governance under his watch with a loud BOO.

When the Ombudsman’s field investigation Office (FIO) filed its report on its work on the DAP, it pinpointed Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and his deputy Mario Relampagos as the ones responsible for the irregular release of P393.7 million from the DAP between 2011 and 2012.

Both the FIO and Ombudsman Morales explicitly excluded from investigation President Aquino, whose signature and approval got the controversial and unconstitutional program going and instigated the havoc done to the national treasury.

A blatant case of double standard
This is a blatant case of double standard, coming from an office whose constitutional duty covers all who hold public office, including the President. Ombudsman Morales has justified the double standard on the grounds that the specific charges of technical malversation and administrative charges cited by the FIO are not impeachable offenses, and because President Aquino can only be indicted on impeachment charges while he is in office.

Yet Aquino’s responsibility and accountability are betrayed by the fact that he went ballistic when the Supreme Court ruled in July 2014 that the DAP was illegal and unconstitutional. A mere observer or accomplice in the crime would not have called attention to himself.

Just as disappointing is the fact that the money to be covered by the preliminary investigation is only P393.7 million of the DAP fund. This is but a pittance of the total DAP fund of P147 billion.

Our people will see these developments for what they are: (1) A case of letting the principal and mastermind go Scott free, and (2) a case of focusing on a few trees and missing the bigger forest of criminality.

Under the Ombudsman’s rules of procedure, an approved report from the FIO would go through a preliminary investigation to be conducted by a special panel of investigators.

Should the Ombudsman approve the special panel’s recommendation to file a case against a respondent-public official, the case can then be elevated for trial by the Sandiganbayan.

This means that we the people are still a very long way from seeing the comeuppance of the administration’s evil genius, Budget Secretary Abad.

Abad’s gloating statement
Abad issued an almost gloating statement in the aftermath of the Ombudsman’s announcement. He said that he welcomed the development, and he maintained that there was no graft and corruption involved during the implementation of the DAP.

He declared: “First, technical malversation does not suggest that the individuals in question committed acts of graft or corruption. Nor does the investigation imply that these individuals used public funds for their personal gain or benefit.”

This is the farthest thing from remorse for the robbery of public money. This is gloating.

We hope Abad’s defiant stance will arouse sufficient anger from Ombudsman Morales so that she will now intensify efforts by her office to determine full accountability for all the criminal wrongdoing and irregularities under the DAP.

She should be incensed because Abad is challenging her very authority as Ombudsman and her ability to bring him before the graft court.

The spectacle of Abad getting away with plunder and sheer badness should not happen before the term of President Aquino ends on June 30 next year.

This also must not happen during the balance of the term of Ombudsman Morales.

Let us not be in doubt as to what is at stake here.

The Ombudsman would be making the sacred principle of honesty in public service a sham, if Abad gets away with being bad, and President Aquino gets away with having initiated with Abad and giving his blessing to this monstrous looting of the public treasury.

The victory which our people won when the Supreme Court declared the DAP illegal and unconstitutional should not be turned into garbage.

She has the full support of the Filipino public. Ombudsman Morales should exact drop by drop full retribution for all wrongs done against the nation under the DAP.

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12 Comments

  1. The Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio Morales plan to take on the DAP troika is blessed by Pope Francis message end game and that is to take care of the unfortunate. She is a true leader, a hero, and a patriot of our war against corruption which has impaired our way of life. Prelim investigation goal is to establish overall planning which establishes scope, time, duration, manpower and rules of engagement in collaboration with other resources to find the weakest link in the chain. Fraud is fraud or plunder is plunder and there is no statute of limitation for this criminality. Sadly, the current crop of presidential candidates had demonstrated their leadership incompetence, insensitivity, untrustworthiness, and lack of moral compass. This coming election is not about who has trillion pesos to spend. It will be about hope for a better life for the faceless children, elderly, working poor, and the unemployed. And Conchita Carpio Morales is what we need as President. She is the beacon of hope to stop us from selling our souls to the Devil. With her, Change is Possible!

  2. How timely that after the budget of the ombudsman was slashed did Morales started investigating DAP but she dared not investigate the initiator of this scam and whatever reason Abad used to justify DAP, the sole reason for this creation is to impeach Chief Justice Corona.

  3. This is another perfect example of “Utang na loob”. It is always there, it’s in the blood already. You can’t put it away. What do you expect then, you don’t want to be ungrateful, right? So…

  4. Rodan Guerrero on

    Replacing the Ombudsman should be one of top priorities of the next president, and even jailing her for harboring criminals. She chooses whom to indict, which is probably under the orders of Aquino. It is very obvious that her rule is to jail the enemies of Aquino and anyone who would step on his way. We should overhaul this government and put in place people who are really devoted for public service and not to people with personal adgendas.

  5. It is not an investigation but a whitewashing by the corrupt ombitchwoman so that Noytard can’t be sued again- double jeopardy law.

  6. just thinking…..if all those involved in dap anomaly are cleared by the ombudsman as the yellows’ are in control of everything in the government, will all dap conspirators be set free by double jeopardy ruling? Palabas lang kaya ang imbestigasyon ni Conchita who was once was used by the yellows to impeached Corona with the used of DAP as bribe to influence the senator judges?

  7. Pilosopo Tacio on

    “The spectacle of Abad getting away with plunder and sheer badness and BALDNESS should not happen before the term of President Aquino ends on June 30 next year.”

    Happy to see the bald eagle in prison!

  8. people are mad at the 3 senators in the P10Billion PDAF SCAM BUT THEY ARE INTERESTINGLY QUIET WITH THE DAP SCAM OF BOY SISI AND ABAD. NOW THE OMBUDSMAN cleared boy sisi but investigates abad. it is the second time that the ombudsman cleared the original perpetuator or one approving of the scam. the first was aberya and now boy sisi.

  9. Vic Penetrante on

    Sentiments quickly surge on news headlines and then subside as other headlines break. Investigations delay ‘striking the iron while it is hot.’

  10. If the clearing of Pnoy is a sign of things to come, I am not optimistic that Abad and others will even become scapegoats. Morales has yet to show that she really is the head of a constitutional office shielded from influence of anybody including the President.