Palace downplays 4th impeachment complaint

Posted at 08/11/14 3:39 PM

MANILA - Malacanang said the Aquino administration will not make any move to thwart the fourth impeachment complaint lodged against President Benigno Aquino III.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Edwin Lacierda said they are not concerned with the fourth complaint. "We will let the impeachment complaint, impeachment proceeding take its course in Congress.”

He said there is no truth to the allegations contained in the complaint. "That is not a priority for us. Number one, the allegations that they alleged that the President committed wrongdoing is, certainly...we do not agree with.”

He explained that the participation of lawmakers in proposing or nominating projects in the 2014 budget as well as in the proposed 2015 budget is their job and not a defiance of the Supreme Court rule that declared the pork barrel system unconstitutional.

"If you remember, the Supreme Court decision spoke of what is unconstitutional with the PDAF. It is the budget execution, and participation of congressmen,” he said.

He said lawmakers are supposed to be there to propose the budget, to be part of the budget proposal stage.

But when it comes to budget execution, lawmakers are prohibited from getting involved, he said.

Militant lawmakers claim Aquino continues to perpetuate the unconstitutional PDAF via several government agencies.

Malacanang allegedly sent Health Undersecretary Janet Garin and had a closed-door meeting with some congressmen.

"We're not familiar with that closed-door proceeding. So we would rather let Congress or the House of Representatives speak on that,” he said.