By Jeffrey Damicog
Justice Undersecretary Antonio Kho has officially been appointed on Tuesday to head the task force which will conduct the re-investigation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) scams.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II issued Department Order No. 435 dated June 27 which named Kho to the task.
In the order, Kho was informed that he is “designated as the Undersecretary-in-Charge of the PDAF/DAP Scam Task Force, which shall have overall supervision and oversight over all stages of the investigation and any other proceedings that may result therefrom, including those before the Office of the Ombudsman, where some or all of the complaints may be filed and those pending before the Sandiganbayan.
“This Order revokes all orders and issuances inconsistent herewith, takes effect immediately and shall remain in force until further orders,” Aguirre’s order also read.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) had initiated investigations into the PDAF scam under Aguirre’s predecessor, then Justice Secretary and now detained Senator Leila de Lima, which eventually resulted in the indictment of a number of former lawmakers before the Sandiganbayan including former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada and Ramon (Bong) Revilla Jr.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales also conducted investigations of the DAP and subsequently filed before the Sandiganbayan charges against former Budget Secretary Florencio (Butch) Abad but cleared former President Benigno (Noynoy) Aquino III of liability.
Aguirre took the cue with the re-opening of the investigations over the PDAF and DAP from calls made by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte had accused the previous administration of selective justice, saying not everyone involved in the PDAF and DAP anomalies got prosecuted.
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