Ex budget chief may be charged for malversation, releasing of budget without Congress's approval was unconstitutional- Ejercito

Photo file from ABS CBN

Ex budget secretary Florenco Abad might be charged over his involvement in adjusting government savings to buy dengue vaccines without the approval of the Congress.

Abad may possibly be charged of technical malversation for realigning P3.5 billion funds.

 On Saturday, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito made a statement when asked about the liability of officials during Aquino administration in the dengue vaccine controversies.

He also pointed out that then President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III could be held liable for the current mess concerning principle of command responsibility.

“But there is apparently a doctrine which says that if you were the last sign, as a ministerial act, you can be acquitted.” Ejercito said.

During the resumption of Senate hearing on vaccine scandal, Abad admitted that the funds used to purchase Dengvaxia vaccine in December 2015 were from government savings instead of 2015 General Appropriations Act.

Meanwhile, Aquino answered that he had to approve the release of the budget without asking the Congress to determine funding sources because they had no more time to do so.

“We know that secretary Abad had a record with the (so-called) DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) which the Supreme Court declared illegal,” Ejercito said.

Together with Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Senator Richard Gordon, Ejercito is also conducting the probe. Both of them also agreed that releasing of P3.5 billion for the vaccine was done “in haste”.

“The Supreme Court said that their action to re-align savings without congressional approval was unconstitutional,” Ejercito also said.

Ejercito pointed out that he does not believe the excuse of Abad saying it was a usual practice.

“I don’t buy that excuse from Secretary Abad that this is usual practice and it is the prerogative of the president to realign savings at the end of the year,” he said, and reiterated that the amount was huge and there was no emergency that time to immediately purchase the vaccine.

“The procurement of Dengvaxia was done with unprecedented speed,” Ejercito added.

 Source: Manila Times

Post a Comment