Ombudsman orders probe on Abad over DAP

Budget Secretary Butch Abad

MANILA – The Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday ordered the preliminary investigation for the criminal and administrative charges against Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad.

According to its Twitter account, the Office of the Ombudsman has completed its fact-finding investigation on the utilization of the funds for the Disbursement Acceleration Program.

DBM Undersecretary Mario Relampagos will also be investigated in connection to the DAP fund.

Abad and Relampagos will face probe for the P400 million DAP releases from 2011 to 2012.

The DBM secretary allegedly illegally released funds worth P250 million to the House of Representatives while Relampagos released P143.7 million to the Commission on Audit.

A few weeks ago, the Ombudsman started an investigation on Abad and President Benigno Aquino III for the controversial DAP. However, Malacañang reminded that the president is immune from lawsuit.

Malacanang welcomed the Ombudsman’s order to investigate Abad for technical malversation over the DAP, which was said to be Aquino’s pork barrel of President Benigno Aquino III.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma called the inquiry as an “opportunity” to clarify issues surrounding the controversial DAP, a savings-impounding mechanism portions of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

“The conduct of preliminary investigation provides an opportunity to clarify the legal issues on the implementation of the DAP considering that upon the government’s motion for reconsideration, the Supreme Court upheld the principle of operative fact,” Coloma said.

“We affirm our position that the government acted in the public interest,” he added.