Corona: Palace guilty of diverting DAP issue

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Friday, January 31, 2014


OUSTED Chief Justice Renato Corona accused Malacañang of riding on the Office of the Ombudsman’s decision to charge him and his wife, Cristina, in the Sandiganbayan for alleged ill-gotten wealth valued at P130 million.

Corona said the Palace is using the cases to divert public attention from the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), a multi-billion peso spending plan, which was allegedly used in part to convince senators to oust him in May 2012.

“Apparently, it’s a media diversion to take away public attention from DAP,” he said in a recent text message.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad denied using the program for Corona’s impeachment at the continuation of the oral argument on the petitions against DAP’s constitutionality on Tuesday.

No money changed hands, he told the Supreme Court (SC), except that senators were asked to recommend priority infrastructure projects to be funded by DAP, which re-aligned savings to spur the economy from late 2011 up to the middle of last year.

But Corona said it was clear during the hearing that Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza and Abad had a hard time in justifying the government’s position.

The Ombudsman indicted Corona on eight counts of perjury and eight counts of violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards against Public Officials and Employees. The anti-graft body will also push for the recovery of the couple’s unexplained assets.

Malacañang said the charges were based on documentary evidence as it rejected Corona's claim that the government is persecuting him nearly two years after his removal from office. (Sunnex)

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