Investigators seek graft charges against Aquino ally
Philippine authorities have moved to file corruption charges against two top politicians, including an ally of President Benigno Aquino, the justice secretary said Saturday, as part of a massive graft scandal that has embroiled numerous officials.
The justice department has asked a special anti-corruption body to file charges against Joel Villanueva, a former congressman who is now Aquino’s top advisor on vocational education, and Sen. Gregorio Honasan, an ex-military colonel who plotted failed coups against Aquino’s mother, former president Corazon Aquino, according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
“DOJ ... endorsed to (the) Ombudsman the charges against them,” she said in a text message to AFP.
“The Ombudsman will
still de- termine whether there is sufficient basis to subject them to preliminary investigation and later, to file cases.”
The DOJ recommendation is the first step before the filing of criminal charges and the possible arrest of the officials, she said.
The office of the country’s Ombudsman separately said it would start a preliminary investigation against Villanueva and other officials.