Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, a militant group, filed a plunder case against President Benigno Aquino III and several government officials over the searing issue, Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel before the Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday, October 2.
KMP Secretary General Antonio Flores announced that the case is moored on the P10 billion pork barrel scam concerning lawmakers who channeled their priority development assistance funds to fake NGOs.
According to him, in counting Aquino as respondent, the acts committed by the Cabinet Secretaries are deemed acts of the President citing the Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency.
Also in the list of accused of such case were:
Secretary of Agriculture Proceso Alcala, DBM Secretary Florencio Abad, DA Undersecretary Antonio Fleta, DA’s head executive assistant Arnulfo Mañalac, DA assistant secretary Salvador Salacup, DBM Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, DA assistant secretary Ophelia Agawin, DA’s internal audit service director Irene Alogo.
Aside from plunder, they were also charged for violation of the Anti-Graft Law, Government Procurement Reform Act, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, Malversation of Public Funds and Grave and Serious Misconduct.
The group further reiterated that “Under the Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to investigate or conduct an independent investigation, even of a sitting President, to determine his complicity on the offenses charged for purpose later on of filing an impeachment case against him.
They also pressed on the fact that the Filipino people have every right to know of the Presidents’ participation in the pork barrel scam and that Aquino cannot hide under the mantle of presidential immunity.
Included in the complainants are:
KMP vice-chairperson and Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) chair Jose Canlas, Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) spokesperson Nestor Villanueva, KMP secretary general Antonio Flores and, his deputy secretary, Wilfredo Marbella.
On a 14-page complaint, the group urged the Office of the Ombudsman to immediately place the named public respondents in preventive suspension. According to them, their continuous stay in office will definitely cause preconception on the case since they have access to the files and records and could easily change or falsify them.
Also included on the respondents are private personalities Janet Lim Napoles, John Lim, Merlina Sunas and John and Jane Does, who according to the appellants conspired with the mentioned government officials in committing the said offenses.
It was further stated that Janet Napoles is said to be the brains of the Modus operandi of using NGO’s to be able to access public funds whilst John Lim and Merlina Sunas were the ones who helped the release of the public funds to the NGO’s, and signed as witnesses to the Memorandum of Agreement.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas noted that the said case will serve as an “Acid Test” to the Ombudsman.