Former Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte on Friday said the charges filed by progressive groups against ex-President Benigno Aquino III were “neither surprising nor unexpected.”
Valte, also a lawyer, said the move was part of the “continuing harassment” on the former chief executive.
“This action from BAYAN is neither surprising nor unexpected. As soon as PNoy stepped down, they mobilized to rally at his Times Street home, unwilling to extend to him a peaceful homecoming,” Valte said.
Several groups on Friday filed charges against Aquino and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad before the Office of the Ombudsman over the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program, some parts of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2014.
Aquino and Abad were charged with technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers, and graft and corruption by complainants led by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
“Unsatisfied, they mobilized again the next day, deliberately provoking the policemen assigned there in the hope of manufacturing violence to boost media coverage of their shenanigans," Valte said.
Aquino went back to his residence at Times Street in Quezon City after he formally stepped down from office last week, June 30.
"It is clearly part of their continuing harassment of a president who refused to be cowed by their chest-beating during his entire term,” Valte said of the incident.
Aquino has yet to receive a copy of the complaint, according to Valte.
Abad has yet to get a copy of it too, and told GMA News Online in a text message on Friday that they "will reply once we get a notice to do so by the Ombudsman." —KG, GMA News