PLUNDER COMPLAINT FILED VS ABAD

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YOUTH groups on Tuesday filed a plunder complaint against Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad at the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with alleged misuse of public funds through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

The petitioners led by Kabataan party-list and Youth Act Now! said Abad “misappropriated, misused and malversed public funds” through the DAP, which was declared by the Supreme Court (SC) unconstitutional.

In their complaint-affidavit, the petitioners claimed that “all the elements of plunder exist in the instant case.”

“The respondent systematically misappropriated, converted, misused and malversed public funds through his executive issuances and the programs
implemented by him as Budget secretary,” they said.


The petitioners cited the SC decision that struck down DAP.

They noted that the High Court explicitly excluded Abad and other “authors, proponents and implementors of the DAP” from the “doctrine of operative fact.”

“Operative fact” is a judicial doctrine that “nullifies the void law or executive act but sustains its effects.”

“By leaving the authors, proponents and implementors of the DAP open for investigation for their criminal, civil and administrative liabilities, the justices of the Supreme Court are in fact telling the Filipino people that the Aquino administration, especially Budget Secretary Abad, should be held liable,” Rep. Terry Ridon, the primary author of the complaint, said.

The petitioners argued that Abad cannot claim “good faith” or “ignorance of the law” in committing illegal acts through the implementation of the disbursement program.

They cited portions of Associate Justice Arturo Brion’s separate opinion where he said Abad may have run circles “around the budget and its processes, and did, in fact, purposely use this knowledge for the administration’s objective of gathering the very sizeable funds collected under the DAP.”

“It should also be noted that Janet Lim-Napoles, in an affidavit dated May 12, 2014 submitted to the Department of Justice, has claimed that respondent was her mentor, having taught her how to use non-government organizations in maximizing her earnings in transactions involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel of lawmakers,” the petitioners said.

“Despite Secretary Abad’s clear violation of the Constitution and other relevant laws, the Aquino administration continues to coddle the secretary, even going to extreme lengths to defend him. That is why youth groups decided to again take the initiative and file charges against the Budget secretary to hold him accountable,” Ridon said.

“The very fact that Aquino is coddling a criminal like Abad only proves that the two of them have connived to execute this multibillion monstrosity known as DAP.

Filing criminal charges against Abad is just the first half of the legal actions that we’ll pursue. We will be filing an impeachment complaint against Aquino next,” the militant youth lawmaker added.

Ridon also appealed to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to expedite the investigation of Abad’s case.

“The public deserves to know the truth. The esteemed Ombudsman should not give in to pressure by the Aquino administration. We challenge the Ombudsman to act swiftly and judiciously on our complaint and make Abad accountable for his crimes against the Filipino people,” he said.

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7 Comments

  1. Pnoy will never let Abad to be removed from his post since Abad might start confessing all the wrong doings of Pnoy which might lead to Pnoys impeachment so expectedly Pnoy will use all his power to retain Abad on his post.

  2. Alfred Salon on

    The case against Secretary Abad will not prosper because the Ombudsman itself was an appointee of President Pinoy, hence, Justice delay for him.

  3. Manny F. Reyes on

    At the first sign of anomaly in the implementation of PDAF and DAP, the DOJ through the NBI and/or COA should have immediately conducted an investigation. Congress may always compel the DOJ to investigate itself (executive branch) if it refuses to do so. The investigation could have revealed the commission of a misdemeanor and/or a crime. The General Appropriation Act understandably prohibits inter-branch and inter-project allocation/fund transfers as it can lead to abuse and undue influence. Violation of this prohibition in my opinion constitutes only a misdemeanor. However, if a criminal abuse stemmed from this violation, then the perpetrators should be charged with both a misdemeanor and a crime. Put simply, a misdemeanor is punished with a fine, suspension and/or termination where as a crime is always punished more severely than a misdemeanor. At this point, it appears a misdemeanor has taken place at both PDAF AND DAP. A crime has also appeared to have taken place at PDAF. The SC by declaring the entire DAP and PDAF as unconstitutional was uncalled for and in my opinion constitutes encroachment to the turf of the other equal branches. The provision violated is clearly defined in the Appropriation Act. It did not require the interpretation of the SC. The SC by so doing is narrowing the Executive’s and Legislature’s latitude on what’s best fiscally for the society and the economy. Besides, a procedural error does not contaminate and make the whole unusable. Don’t throw away the baby with the bath water. The SC should reverse itself.

  4. Noy P. Salaula on

    Kudos to you Rep Ridon! There should be no backing down, you need to go all the way!!!

  5. Eliseo Jr. P.Tenza on

    In Singapore, if a minister or government oficial is accused of corruption, he should take action against the accuser and prove that he is innocent and the charges are false and malicious.
    Sec Abad should take action against any body that is accusing him of corruption. Keeping quite and just maintaining that he is not guilty will not remove the peoples perception that he is guilty.
    In Singapore, when one of the Ministers who was very close to PM Lee Kuan Yew was being charge of corruption by the CPIB, it was rumored that he begged the PM to help him. It was rumored that the PM replied, that he will not help him because he was destroying LKY’s government.
    President Aquino, please take a cue, ask Sec. Abad to prove himself that he is not corrupt.

  6. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

    At least the youth are taking the cudgels of the Filipino people to write a wrong that
    was committed by these crocodile elders who are members of congress. In fact
    these government officials like ngoyngoy, abad and these who took advantage of
    their positions to loot the government funds to show example to the youth. But
    what is happening now is that these elders who occupies high positions in government
    are the ones stealing the money of the people. This is why the country cannot move
    one, poverty, unemployment and sufferings are abound because instead of
    using these funds to uplift and help the people, taxpayers money are being stolen
    by these people who were entrusted to govern. Bantay salakay so to speak.

  7. eltee mulawin on

    >>> OMBUDSMAN should know that as per Supreme Court ruled in some case same as to this issue…
    a) …”that good faith does not excuse an official who juggles government funds or property from one public purpose to another”.
    b)….“It is the commission of an act as defined by the law, and not the character or effect thereof, that determines whether or not the provision has been violated. Hence, malice or criminal intent is completely irrelevant,”