Walkout upstaged

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Monday, July 28, 2014

PARTYLIST lawmakers, including a representative from Davao City, on Monday walked out of the Batasan Pambansa before President Benigno Aquino III delivered his fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona).

But, the walkout was not among the scenes panned by cameras inside the Batasan Pambansa session hall. There was more interest and camera focus on presidential sister Kris Aquino wiping tears from her eyes.

In a text message, Karlos Yzagani Zarate of Bayan Muna said: “We decided to walk out of the fifth Sona of President Aquino because we know that he would just utter lies to further defend the unconstitutional and illegal DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) as well as again try to fool the Filipino people.”


Watch the post-Sona discussion and more here.

The members of the Makabayan bloc -- Zarate and Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna Partylist, Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis, Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers, Terry Ridon of Kabataan, and Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela -- left the session hall after the Prayer of the Nation.

“We have had enough of his promises and lies. It is now time to impeach the President who has further pushed our countrymen into increasing poverty,” he added.

The seven Makabayan lawmakers, who filed for the impeachment of Aquino, were dressed in peach outfits.

In an online report, two of the complaints accuse Aquino of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust over the discredited DAP, key provisions of which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional, the third has to do with the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US, which allows increased American military presence in the country and their use of local facilities.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 29, 2014.

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