Aquino, Trillanes, Drilon, former officials face malversation raps over DAP

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 15) — Former President Benigno Aquino III and several other officials are facing 272 counts of malversation for their alleged involvement in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Truth and Justice Commission President Greco Belgica filed the complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman Monday. Belgica is also a commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Committee.

Apart from Aquino, named in the complaint were former Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas, former budget officials Florencio "Butch" Abad, Mario Relampagos and Yolanda Doblon, former congressman and transport chief Jun Abaya, as well as Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Franklin Drilon.

All were accused of influencing the impeachment of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012 through the controversial fund disbursement mechanism, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2014.

"The DAP was a premeditated scheme for respondents to divert and malverse the funds of the Government for the impeachment of CJ Corona," the complaint read.

Among the evidence Belgica cited are privilege speeches given by former Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, claiming they were being paid off through the DAP to convict Corona.

Belgica said some 40 senators and 234 congressmen received funds through the DAP. However, he did not identify all the lawmakers, mentioning only "John Does" in the complaint.

The number of lawmakers equates to the counts of malversation in his complaint.

He also said the filing was not prompted by any political motive.

"Hindi political persecution yun [It was not persecution], this is bringing them to justice," Belgica said after filing the complaint.

Aquino and Abad had been investigated by the Ombudsman over their liability in relation to DAP.

In June, the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict them for usurpation of powers. Aquino is appealing the decision.