Ombudsman Morales faces disbarment case for absolving PNoy in DAP case

MANILA, Philippines – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales is facing disbarment case filed by losing senatorial bet and former Manila City Councilor Greco Belgica before the Supreme Court on Friday, March 24. Belgica has accused Morales of violating the Lawyer’s Oath and Code of Professional Responsibility for acquitting former president Benigno ‘PNoy’ Aquino III in the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) for which the latter faced technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers, and graft charges.



“In absolving the president (Aquino) of criminal liability by omitting his name in the discussion relative to the finding of probable cause against former (Budget) Secretary Florencio Abad, the Filipino people were deprived of their right to procedural due process,” Belgica’s charge sheet stated. “Hence, the Ombudsman violated her lawyer’s oath when she deprived of their right to due procedural due process, a right enshrined in our Constitution and mandated by law,” it added. Sought for comment, Morales acknowledged that anyone is at liberty to file a complaint against her, but added she is ready to face them ‘anytime, anywhere’. “Being charged is part of the territory. I am ready to meet head-on any complaint, anytime, anywhere,” she said. Morales added: “Wish them luck.” In clearing Aquino, Morales said the technical malversation and graft charges were junked because “they cannot be indicted for technical malversation since they did not “apply” public funds to other purposes.” Despite acquitting Aquino and former Budget undersecretary Mario Relampagos, the Ombudsman indicted former Budget Secretary Florencio ‘Butch’ Abad with usurpation of powers.
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