By Jeffrey Damicog
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been ordered to investigate former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III over his alleged involvement in Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) mess.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II gave the directive under Department Order 749 dated November 23.
Aguirre explained his directive is based on the complaint of former Manila councilor Greco Belgica over Aquino’s alleged involvement in the DAP mess.
Under the DO, Aguirre told the NBI that it is “directed and granted authority to investigate the complaint filed by Coalitiion for Investigation and Prosecution led. by Greco Belgica against former President Benigno S. Aquino III, et .al. for malversation under Art. 217 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.
Aside from DO 749, the secretary also issued two more DOs, 751 and 752, also ordering the NBI to reopen its investigation to the anomalies in the DAP and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, respectively.
In all three DOs, Aguirre also instructed the NBI “to form a special task force that will investigate the said anomalies.”
Aguirre also told the NBI that the task force should submit period reports of its investigation to Justice Undersecretary Antonio Kho Jr.
The Office of the Ombudsman already cleared Aquino over a criminal complaint concerning the DAP but found probable cause to indict former Budget Secretary Florencio Aba.
Despite this, Aguirre explained the NBI can still file a complaint using evidence in its possession.
“It doesn’t prevent you from filing the same kind of complaint with additional evidence,” he said.
“Walang double joepardy diyan (There is no double jeopardy),” he assured.
Under the law, double jeopardy means an accused cannot be charged more than once in court for the same crime.