Sen. Leila de Lima said that the charges against officials of the last administration, specially ex-president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, are driven by politics and is simply harassment.

According to De Lima, who was justice secretary on Aquino administration's term, said she was upset by the charges against Aquino, who had just stepped down from office two weeks ago.

Aquino is facing charges in connection with the highly controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and in the mishandling of the Mamasapano operation that resulted in the deaths of 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF 44) in January 2015.

“It would’ve been okay if there was any basis or if the motives were legitimate,” De Lima said.

De Lima also said it is disappointing to see that the families of the slain SAF members are being used for the political agenda of the people behind the criminal complaints against Aquino.

She insisted that she could not see any possible criminal liability on the part of Aquino.

She pointed out that Aquino explained on several occasions that he was not fully informed about the actual situation on the ground when the clash between the SAF and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was taking place.

As De Lima remembered, when she resigned as justice secretary last October 2015, the Department of Justice was already conducting preliminary investigation on the criminal complaints.

Regarding the DAP, De Lima said there is also no basis to charge Aquino and former budget secretary Florencio Abad because they implemented the program in good faith.

De Lima was very confident in saying that Aquino and his allies would be able to justify their roles on the two issues and come up with good, valid defenses.

                                                    Source: The Philippine Star

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