In­ves­ti­ga­tors seek graft charges against Aquino ally

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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