Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has ordered an investigation into anomalies related to the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), as well as into a malversation complaint filed against former president Benigno Aquino III and other officials under his administration.
According to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) announcement on Friday, Aguirre signed three Department Orders, one of which was directing National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran to form a special task force that would handle the investigation of the supposed corrupt activities of Aquino and his officials.
Both DO 751 and 752 allowed the department to conduct probe on the DAP and the PDAF anomalies “for the purpose of re-opening its investigation” by the DOJ.
Meanwhile, the DO 749 has granted NBI the authority to look into a complaint filed by former Manila councilor Greco Belgica of the Coalition for Investigation and Prosecution that charges Aquino of malversation.
It is uncertain in Aguirre’s Department Order whether the malversation complaint filed against the former president is in line with DAP.
The Ombudsman had earlier dismissed graft charges against Aquino and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad over DAP or Malacañang’s “pork barrel.” They dismissed the administrative charges against the former president for lack of jurisdiction, since the complaint was filed after his term as president.
To recall, the Ombudsman also charged Abad with usurpation of legislative power for the implementation of the DAP, where some of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC).
The Justice Secretary earlier said that new investigation will focus to Abad and other officers and allies of the Aquino administration.
Aguirre is set to have a press conference on Friday to converse about a witness on a recently discovered nearly P9-billion scam.