Bayan Muna ready to endorse impeachment vs Aquino

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

MILITANT lawmakers said Thursday that they ready to endorse the impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino III after the recent ruling from the Supreme Court that declared certain provisions of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

Bayan Muna party-list Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate said Aquino and others officials must be made accountable for their role in DAP.

Colmenares said despite the fact that the House of Representatives is still being controlled by administration allies, the people has demanded accountability from a deceptive government and they will just do their mandated task to the Filipino people

"We are ready to endorse an impeachment complaint against Pres Aquino being the author of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that was declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court," Colmenares said.

Meanwhile, Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin Gatchalian lauded the High Court's decision, which reaffirmed that the power of the purse solely belongs to Congress.

Gatchalian pointed out that the DAP practically repeals the General Appropriations Act (GAA) by realigning funds to items not found in the budget that has been approved by both houses of Congress.

"Malacanang cannot share its savings to the legislative branch as this is a violation of that principle. There is no issue if the savings were used in worthwhile projects in the different departments of the government. But it is really problematic if the DAP distributed to some legislators ended up in bogus non-government organizations connected to Janet Lim-Napoles," Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian, however, is opposed to moves by some of his colleagues to push for the impeachment of Aquino for approving the DAP as proposed by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, who has been tagged as the chief architect and promoter of DAP.

"I am against any move to impeach the chief executive as this will only serve as a distraction to the more pressing issues that Congress should address," said Gatchalian.

He said Congress has a lot of important legislation to tackle and an impeachment complaint against the President will not only sidetrack the House but also Malacanang, which is still at a loss on how to address the problem of the rising prices of rice, garlic, petroleum products and other basic commodities.

"It would be best if the Lower House just concentrate on its legislative work when Congress opens on July 23," Gatchalian said.

For his part, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) president Vicente Joyas said President Aquino can be impeached for culpable violation of the Constitution.

He said that no less seven times, the President approved the release of DAP funds.

"I doubt whether good faith can be applied, considering what happened," he said in an interview.

Joyas also called for the resignation of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, the brains behind DAP.

"That will be the most decent action that he should make, in order to unload the president with so many problem besetting the nation now," he said. (Sunnex)

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