Lawmakers to pursue impeachment raps vs PNoy

Posted at 07/06/2014 3:44 PM | Updated as of 07/07/2014 12:35 AM

Malversation rap will also be filed vs Abad

MANILA -- Kabataan Party-list Rep. Terry Ridon said he will not endorse the impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino III that was sent to him last week by lawyer Oliver Lozano.

However, he and other militant lawmakers are already preparing one that will be filed on July 14.

"While we appreciate Atty. Lozano's effort in producing an impeachment complaint ahead of everyone, we believe his five-page verified complaint contains weak arguments and failed to meet the stringent standards set by the Constitution," Ridon said.

Lozano’s complaint cites Aquino’s involvement in the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the effects of the Zamboanga siege and super typhoon Yolanda.

Ridon said Lozano’s discussions of the incidents were very broad and did not even mention why Aquino committed culpable violation of the Constitution.

The lawmaker said the Kabataan party-list group and other youth organizations will file a separate impeachment complaint next week.

Ridon noted that under the revised internal rules on impeachment proceedings first adopted by the 15th Congress, individual impeachment complaints need to be consolidated first before the impeachment proceeding begins.

"Such rules allow for the filing of several complaints while still complying with the Constitution," he said.

This will be in consonance with Article XI Section 3(5) of the 1987 Constitution, which states that "no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year."

Meanwhile, Ridon said his group is also "nearly done" with the malversation suit that they plan to file against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

"We will file raps against Secretary Abad before the Office of the Ombudsman on July 8,” he said.

In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said Malacanang respects the decision of some quarters to file an impeachment case against Aquino.

“Iyan po ay nasasaad sa batas. Kinikilala po natin ‘yung kanilang karapatan,” he said, adding that the government will ensure that those who pocketed the DAP funds will face the law.

“Ang tinitiyak natin ay sa harap ng pagkilos ng pamahalaan ay tumalima tayo sa batas. Kung merong matutuklasan na hindi pagtalima sa batas na magiging bunga ng regular na auditing ng Commission on Audit at iba pang pagsisiyasat ay ipapatupad ang mga itinadhana ng batas,” Coloma said.