Makabayan bloc eyes malverse raps vs PNoy, appointees

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 June) – The Makabayan Bloc in Congress will file charges against outgoing President Benigno S. Aquino III and some of his appointees for technical malversation, the Disbursement Acceleration Program, and criminal negligence by next month, a lawmaker said Monday.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City that their lawyers are now preparing the charges to be filed as soon as Aquino steps down from office.

He said they want Aquino and outgoing Budget Secretary Butch Abad to be held accountable for the DAP, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court for usurping Congress’ power to determine the annual budget.

He noted the Makabayan bloc was yet to identify the other officials who will be charged but said the respondents will include department heads who received and dispensed DAP funds, while Aquino administration will face technical malversation charges in relation to 116 projects.

Zarate added they are looking into Aquino’s possible direct responsibility in the Mamasapo clash on Jan. 25, 2015 where 44 members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force, 17 members of the Moro islamic Liberation Front, and five civilians were killed.

He said they want to hold responsible former PNP chief Alan Purisima and ex-SAF director Getulio Napeñas.

He said the operation would not have happened without President Aquino’s approval.

He said it was an anti-terrorist operation by the US but was carried out by Filipinos. “Tayo-tayo ang nagpapatayan,” (We ended up killing each other).

He added Aquino has a pending case of rice smuggling before the Ombudsman but it has remained unresolved due to the legal immunity enjoyed by a sitting president.

The Makabayan bloc in the 17th Congress includes Zarate, Gabriela Women’s Party’s Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers’ Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Anakpawis’ Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan’s Sara Jane Elago. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)