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  • Pres. Aquino cleared; Sec. Abad faces DAP probe  
    President Aquino has been cleared of criminal liability by the Office of the Ombudsman in his administration’s implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), parts of which were declared unconstitutional in 2014 by the Supreme Court. But the ombudsman said yesterday it found sufficient basis for a preliminary investigation of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Undersecretary Mario Relampagos. The ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (FIO) said only Sec. Abad and Usec. Relampagos should be held liable for technical malversation of public funds. Fact-finding investigators also said both officials should be held liable for administrative offenses in relation to their role in the utilization of DAP funds amounting to P31.9 billion from 2011 to 2012. A preliminary investigation would give the 2 officials a chance to answer accusations before charges are filed against them with the Sandiganbayan.  Technical malversation is committed by a public officer when he or she disburses public funds or property for a purpose other than what is dictated by law or ordinance.
  • Auto policy IRR due next week                                
    The government plans to release next week the underlying rules governing the implementation of the automobile industry policy, Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal said yesterday. The release of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) will jump-start the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program, which was approved by President Aquino in May. Usec. Cristobal refused to give further details of the IRR but he noted that the plan will take in applications from prospective participants by the end of the year. He noted the prescribed period for the applications will be identified in the IRR. He said the applications will essentially involve basic questions about the interested companies, their plans and projections, and the investments that they intend to make.

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