Palace: Up to congressmen to discern on impeachment rap vs Aquino

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Monday, July 21, 2014


MALACANANG said Monday that it would be up to the House of Representatives to assess the impeachment complaints filed against President Benigno Aquino III amid the absence of pork barrel.

"I think the Congress people have their own discernment on the allegations of the complaint and we will let them use their own discernment as to judge the allegations of the complaint," Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing when asked how the Palace could get support from the lawmakers from not endorsing the impeachment complaint against Aquino now that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) has been scrapped.

During the previous administration, pork barrel funds were allegedly being released to lawmakers whenever there were impeachment complaints filed against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

At least three impeachment raps were already filed against Aquino following the Supreme Court's decision declaring parts of the administration's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional.

A first valid impeachment complaint was endorsed in the House on Monday against the President for alleged betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

Lacierda insisted that the House is an independent body and it has its own rules.

"We will defer to the House. They have the House rules to deal with such an impeachment complaint," he said.

Lacierda refused to give further comments on the impeachment raps against the President.

"If we make any statement as to conclusion, then there will be implications to that," he said.

Contrary to the claim of a militant group that DAP is a "presidential pork," the Palace official said it was not.

"Well, you know we have a difference in opinion on that. The Supreme Court has already mentioned on the positive effects of this. But is this Presidential pork? No, this is our understanding of how we can use savings. Make sure that savings are used effectively," he said.

"We obviously have a difference in opinion with the impeachment complainant," Lacierda added. (SDR/Sunnex)

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