“Letting off Noynoy with a P1,000 fine for plundering P200 billion is the worst insult to humanity’s sense of fairness.
The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) controversy is expected to get a better shake under Ombudsman Samuel Martires rather than the slap on the wrist ruling his predecessor Conchita Carpio-Morales imposed on former yellow officials.
Morales perfunctorily probed the DAP mess that involved from P150 billion to P200 billion of diverted public funds and ruled to impose the absurd usurpation of legislative power charges on former President Noynoy Aquino and his rasputin former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
Through the selective justice skills of Morales, Noynoy and Abad face a ridiculous fine each of P1,000 and imprisonment of at least six months to six years at most.
On Monday, Presidential Anti-Corruption Committee Commissioner Greco Belgica filed 274 counts of malversation charges against Noynoy and his cohorts in the misuse of the budget through the DAP.
Former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, Abad and former budget officials Mario Relampagos and Yolanda Doblon, former Rep. and Transport Chief Jun Abaya and Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Franklin Drilon were included in the complaint.
On 1 July 2014, the Supreme Court struck down the DAP as unconstitutional as the court cited the cross-border transfer of savings to agencies outside the Executive Branch and to projects outside the approved national budget which were not allowed.
Roxas and Abaya who succeeded each other as transportation secretary were instrumental in the fund diversions while Trillanes was a heavy recipient of DAP funds. Trillanes had filed libel cases against Daily Tribune for exposing his DAP allocations prior to the 2013 polls when he ran for reelection which were all reflected in Department of Budget and Management (DBM) documents then.
Roxas, then Liberal Party (LP) president and Abaya, secretary general, caused the diversion of P4.5 billion fund earmarked for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) to the DAP.
Of course, the approving authority for reallocation of funds in the budget to the supposed stimulus fund then was LP strategist Abad who sits at that time as DBM head.
Drilon was chairman of the Senate finance committee during the impeachment hearing of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012 and was pointed to as having distributed “incentives” to senator judges who voted to convict the chief magistrate.
Drilon sent the senator judges “private and confidential” letters informing them that they could submit proposals for their projects to be funded under the DAP.
Of the 23 senator judges in the impeachment trial, Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor Santiago and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. did not receive Drilon’s letter. All three did not vote to convict Corona.
Among the evidence Belgica cited in the complaint are the privilege speeches of former Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, claiming they were being paid off through the DAP to convict Corona.
In his complaint, Belgica said some 40 senators and 234 congressmen received funds through the DAP, thus the 274 counts of malversation.
“Through the selective justice skills of Morales, Noynoy and Abad face a ridiculous fine each of P1,000 and imprisonment of at least six months to six years at most.
Memorable was Noynoy’s “I am not a thief” speech in November 2013 which was triggered by the public outrage generated by the DAP revelations.
He insisted in the speech that his discretionary funds, aside from the DAP, which totaled some P500 billion a year was a necessity for immediate government response to calamities and other emergencies.
He also expressed surprise about the public protest generated by the DAP as he insisted that his administration is the hero and not the villain since he is the one running after the thieves.
He added the public protest against the DAP was a counter-propaganda by opposition senators whom he had targeted in plunder charges over the pork barrel scam case.
In a subsequent Senate hearing, however, it was established that all DAP releases needed the knowledge and approval of Noynoy, which meant that he knew the purpose of the P50 million incentive given to each of the senator judges who convicted Corona in the 2012 impeachment trial.
Closure in the DAP controversy falls short, by any measure, with the inane usurpation of legislative powers raps of Morales that was meant only to preempt more serious charges against the yellow cabal.
Letting off Noynoy with a P1,000 fine for plundering P200 billion is the worst insult to humanity’s sense of fairness.