MANILA – Amid the Office of the Ombudsman’s investigation on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the Malacañang noted that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III remained immune from lawsuits.
“The Office of the Ombudsman is empowered by law to conduct such investigation… [But] we wish to point out the Constitutional principle that an incumbent President of the Philippines is immune from suit,” Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said.
The Malacañang’s statement came after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales disclosed that her office will proceed probing on Aquino and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad in the course of their investigation on the DAP.
According to a Supreme Court (SC) resolution, certain provisions under the DAP were unconstitutional as inter-branch transfer of budgets was unlawful.
‘Authors, proponents and implementors’ of the program could then face ‘criminal, civil and administrative’ charges ‘unless there were concrete findings of good faith in their favor by the proper tribunals.’
Aquino and Abad, for their part, repeatedly stated that they only had good faith in approving and implementing the DAP which was used to fund several economic projects and programs.