Junking of impeachment raps ‘expected’

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014


NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said Tuesday that from the very start, he was confident that the impeachment complaints filed against President Benigno Aquino III would be dismissed for lack of substance.

"PNoy is not liable for any mistake. He has not committed any corruption because the President is not corrupt and he has not done any impeachable offense," Marañon said.

The House committee on justice dismissed on Tuesday the three impeachment complaints against Aquino, declaring the complaints "insufficient in substance."

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The committee voted 54-4 to approve the motion to terminate debate discussions for all the three impeachment complaints.

The governor added that in the first place, the impeachment complaints were filed by leftist who would always criticize the President no matter what he does.

Marañon also said he believes that the Supreme Court erred in its decision to declare key portions of the Disbursement Allocation Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

For his part, fourth district Representative Jeffrey Ferrer said, "This is part of our democratic process. Let us just respect the decision of the committee on justice."

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said that from the start, the complainants did not have the numbers to impeach the President, hence the dismissal by the House justice committee was expected.

Bayan Muna partylist Representative Neri Colmenares, whose group is one of those who filed the complaints against the President, fumed on the speed by which the panel tackled the complaints.

"Noong panahon ni Arroyo, the impeachment complaints against her reached three to four hearings. Kay President Aquino, two hearings lang dismissed na," Colmenares said in a radio interview.

The first two complaints were filed last July amid public outrage on the President's alleged misuse of the people's money through the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds.

During the hearing, House Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao, in his manifestation, said that the first and second impeachment complaints do not satisfy based on the Section 2 Article 11 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt practices Act.

He said culpable violation is a "wilful act of the President" and the complaint against Aquino was "vague."

The lawmaker stressed that not every violation of the Constitution is impeachable. "It must be culpable," he said.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez questioned on Tuesday the second impeachment complaint filed by various militant youth groups led by 15 students and endorsed by Kabataan party-list Representative Terry Ridon, claiming it was "prematurely filed."

"It is utterly insufficient in substance and just a piece of paper," Rodriguez said.

The third impeachment rap, which was filed by different militant groups led by former Bayan Muna party-list representative Satur Ocampo, accuses Aquino of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust following the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) between Manila and Washington.

Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said Aquino did not violate the 1987 Constitution since the right into binding agreement is "not a necessity."

Administration allies in the House earlier predicted that the impeachment cases would lead nowhere because the process is a political exercise, which means "it is a numbers game." (With reports from Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 03, 2014.

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