Palace on impeach vote: Lawmakers not influenced

MANILA -- Malacañang denied on Tuesday influencing the congressmen in dismissing the three impeachment complaints against President Benigno Aquino III.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace believes that the President has obtained justice after the House of Representatives' committee on justice found insufficient in substance all the three raps against him.

"Wala pong ginamit na impluwensiya ang ating Pangulo at ang pamahalaan," Coloma said, noting that the members of the House panel followed the process.

"Pansinin natin na ang lupon ng Kamara (Congress) na duminig ng impeachment complaint, ang tawag sa lupon na ‘yan ay committee on justice. Kaya kung ‘yon ang pasya ng mga kagawad ng committee on justice ng House of Representatives, maaari sigurong masabi natin na 'yan ang naging outcome ng kanilang proseso," he said when asked if Aquino was able to get justice on the impeachment raps against him.

The President, in an interview last week, expressed belief that he could get justice from the members of the House panel after they decided during the first hearing that all the three raps against him were sufficient in form.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a statement, said that the groups who wanted to oust the President through impeachment were given an opportunity to make their case in Congress, but they failed.

"The committee on justice of the House, after a thorough review of the allegations in terms of its substance, has dismissed the complaints against the President," she said.

"We take note that the process took place with transparency, not just according to the rules, but to give the proponents every opportunity to make their case," she added.

Asked if the Palace was ready for more protests against the administration following the dismissal of the impeachment complaints, Coloma said, "Sa ating demokrasya ay handa tayong humarap sa mga makatwiran at mapayapang paglalahad ng saloobin ng mga mamamayan."

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

The first two complaints were filed based on Aquino's alleged misuse of the people's money through the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds, while the third rap was based on the defense deal that the Aquino administration forged with the United States.

Based on the impeachment rules, the requirement of substance is met if there is a recital of facts constituting the offense charged and determinative of the jurisdiction of the committee.

The committee is mandated to submit a report telling stakeholders that they had dismissed the complaint if the committee finds that the complaint is not sufficient in substance. (SDR/Sunnex)


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