Aguirre orders NBI to probe Aquino, DAP

MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II signed two Department Orders authorizing an investigation into the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)  and a malversation complaint filed against former president Benigno Aquino III.

Aguirre ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to form a special task force to handle the investigation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Friday, November 24.

The orders were signed on Thursday, November 23.

LOOK: These are Aguirre's department orders pic.twitter.com/dcz2EWNCU1 — Lian Buan (@lianbuan) November 24, 2017

One of the investigations will look into the malversation complaint filed against Aquino by the Coalition for Investigation and Prosecution led by former Manila councilor Greco Belgica.

Belgica was the petitioner in a Supreme Court case that eventually declared two executive acts under DAP unconstitutional.

It was not clear in Aguirre’s Department Order whether the malversation complaint against Aquino is also related to DAP.

The Office of the Ombudsman had earlier  cleared Aquino of any criminal liability over DAP, and had dismissed the graft and technical malversation complaints against Aquino and former budget secretary Florencio Abad over the DAP.

In March, the Ombudsman indicted Abad for usurpation of legislative power for the implementation of the DAP.

Bayan Muna's graft complaint against Aquino on the DAP controversy is pending before the Ombudsman after the complainants appealed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales' resolution clearing Aquino.

In early September, Belgica’s group, together with the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, announced in a press conference that they had evidence of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV supposed involvement in a scheme similar to the pork barrel scam, but instead using DAP funds.

The justice secretary signed a 3rd Department Order with the same instructions to the NBI, but on the issue of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) anomalies. The DOJ created its task force in June as Aguirre reopened the investigation into the pork barrel scam.

Aguirre earlier said that the new investigation will target Abad and other officials and allies of the previous administration.

Aguirre is scheduled to have a press conference at 11 am on Friday to discuss a witness "on a recently discovered almost P9-billion scam.” – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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