New impeach complaint blasts PNoy for 'hidden pork'

Posted at 08/11/14 1:03 PM

MANILA - Another impeachment complaint has been filed against President Aquino before the House of Representatives, this time for the alleged continuance of the pork barrel system that was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The complaint signed by 16 complainants and led by ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio accuses President Aquino of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for allowing the "continued existence of the illegal congressional pork."

"The thesis of this complaint is that despite the Belgica vs Ochoa ruling sinking down the [priority development assistance funds] laws and unwritten PDAF-like schemes as unconstitutional, President Aquino is perpetuating hidden informal practices whereby legislators have entitlement to lump sum public funds in the form of House pork or the funds realigned from deleted PDAF items in the 2014 national budget..." the complaint read.

It also revealed that the deleted PDAF went to the budgets of the Department of Health, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Public Works and Highways, Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The complaint cited transcriptions of House hearings where Health Undersecretary Janette Garin and Commission on Higher Education chairwoman Patricia Licuanan separately admitted that lawmakers have a say on the use of government funds.

"Aquino betrayed the public trust by perpetuating congressional pork through informal practices in defiance of the ruling of the Supreme Court to the detriment of public interest," it added.

A total of 16 people signed the new impeachment complaint including 2006 National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera.