MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today filed a plunder complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against President Benigno Aquino III, Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes, Janet Lim Napoles and nine others in connection with the alleged misuse of the Malampaya funds.
KMP accused Aquino and his officials of releasing P125 million of the Malampaya fund for "purposes not in accord with the law," particularly for alleged non-existent projects of bogus NGOs.
The group presented a 16-page complaint before the Ombudsman with 70 pieces of documentary evidence, insisting that the evidence of guilt against the respondents is strong.
Others in the complaint sheet include Agrarian Reform Undersecretaries Narciso Nieto and Jerry Pacturan, Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, and private individuals Teresita Reyes, Ashley Baul, Simplicio Gumalfex, John Raymund De Asis, John Lim, and Benhur Luy, who were the presidents of NGOs who proposed projects to the DAR to be bankrolled from Malampaya Funds.
Luy is currently under the Witness Protection of the government in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the Palace needs to see the complaint first before responding.
"Hihintayin po nating makita kung ano ang nilalaman ng complaint na 'yun. Batid po natin na habang siya ay nanunungkulan bilang Pangulo, ang Pangulo po ay mayroong immunity from suit," he said.
KMP chairman Rafael Mariano said that while Aquino is immune from suit, he can still be investigated by the Ombudsman to determine whether his acts constitute an impeachable offense.
He said the investigation may also be the basis of a future plunder case once Aquino steps down from power.
Mariano said the approved projects were not related to energy development, which, he said, is already a violation of the law.
"Worst, those projects were never implemented. Not a single centavo was spent for the said projects, and not a single farmer received any benefit therefrom," the complaint said.
The KMP also charged Abad and Relampagos "as principals by indispensable cooperation," as they were allegedly the ones who approved the release of funds.
The group urged the Ombudsman to immediately place the respondents under preventive suspension.