Left-leaning lawmakers mull impeach raps vs Aquino-A A +A
Monday, October 14, 2013
MANILA -- Left-leaning congressmen on Monday said they are carefully studying the possible grounds to impeach President Benigno Aquino III over the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The seven lawmakers belonging to the so-called Makabayan bloc said they would still need the study the legal and political grounds to impeach Aquino although they stressed that the president has committed culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust when the DAP was implemented.
"Impeachment is a very serious matter. Hindi lang legal, pati political din kaya dapat aralin kung may batayan," Bayan Muna party-list Representative Neri Colmenares said in a press conference.
ACT party-list Representative Antonio Tinio pointed out that a Supreme Court (SC) ruling declaring the DAP as unconstitutional will boost the chances of having a popular president like Aquino impeached.
"That would definitely help. Pero hindi tayo mag-aabang doon kaya mayroon din tayong sariling initiative sa kongreso," Tinio said referring to House resolutions filed by their bloc instructing the appropriate House committees to investigate the DAP.
Perennial impeachment complaint lawyer Oliver Lozano has earlier filed an impeachment complaint against Aquino over the DAP.
According to the Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad Jr., the DAP was designed by his office to ramp up spending and help accelerate economic expansion.
DAP releases are usually funded from unreleased appropriations under personnel services and unprogrammed fund as well as budgets for slow-moving items or projects that have been realigned to support faster-disbursing projects.
The Makabayan bloc however said that President Aquino and Secretary Abad are deceiving the people when they misrepresented as savings the DAP funds.
They argued that the DAP funds do not fall into the category of savings under the law because the projects where these funds were collected from have not been completed.
"DAP has no legal leg to stand on. The Constitutional provision on the realignment of savings within the office of the president and the impoundment provision of the GAA (General Appropriations Act) on the condition of uncontrolled budgetary deficits are not applicable,” the bloc said in a statement. (Sunnex)