Saturday, August 4, 2018

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio asked to seek AMLC review of Bank Accounts of Aquino, Abad, Garin

At a news forum in Quezon City, Topacio said apart from Aquino, also covered by the motion he filed Friday seeking a review of their bank accounts were former Budget and Management secretary Florencio Abad, former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Philippine Children’s Medical Center director Dr. Julius Lecciones, former Department of Health chief Janette Garin, and 17 other former and current Department of Health (DOH) officials.

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said Saturday he has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to request the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to look into the bank accounts of former President Benigno Aquino III and other officials charged with plunder over the controversial Dengvaxia immunization program.

"Under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, plunder is one of the predicate crimes by which the Anti-Money Laundering Council may cause the examination of bank accounts of certian individuals and even corporations," the lawyer said.

"Then under the Republic Act No. 3770 'yung Ombudsman Act, may poder din ang Ombudsman na hilingin sa kahit anong ahensya o kawani ng pamahalaan ng tulong na magbigay ng impormasyon with respect to any pending investigation by the Ombudsman," he added.

The Ombudsman has two laws at his disposal to find the "money trail" of the malversed public funds.

In May, Topacio along with Citizens' Crime Watch head Diego Magpantay filed a plunder complaint against Aquino and the other responders over the Dengvaxia mess.

According to the complaint, Aquino and his co-accused “haphazardly planned and procured [Dengvaxia] in gross violation of regulatory processes of the FDA [Food and Drug Administration], the FEC [Formulary Executive Council] and the government procurement laws at the expense of the health of more than 830,000 Filipinos who were administered with the vaccine."

Now that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales is out of the picture, Topacio said he hopes the new head of the anti-graft body, newly installed Ombudsman Samuel Martires, will expedite the resolution of the plunder charges against those involved in the P3.5-billion Dengvaxia controversy.

"Nais namin na magpakitang gilas ang bagong Ombudsman, gamitin ang lahat ng kasangkapan na nasa kamay niya sa ilalim ng batas para lumabas sino talaga ang kumita rito," the lawyer said.

Martires was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the new Ombudsman last month. He replaced Conchita Carpio-Morales, who ended her seven-year term as the head of the anti-graft body.

Source: GMA

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Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio asked to seek AMLC review of Bank Accounts of Aquino, Abad, Garin
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