Palace shrugs off PNoy ouster moves
MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang dismissed yesterday plans to impeach President Aquino as a mere attempt to divert attention from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
Secretary Ricky Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said the allegations have no legal or moral basis for impeaching Aquino.
“I think it is an attempt at misdirection,” he said.
“The public has been given revelations about alleged corruption in the spending of PDAF. And, I think, there are certain parties who are trying to misdirect it, for one reason or another, towards the President.
“Let me just say that the President has never been accused of misusing any funds from the public. The President does not have a PDAF per se, the way that Congress has a PDAF, and so that’s not an issue. It’s an attempt to misdirect the attention.”
Carandang said Aquino has the numbers in Congress to quash an impeachment complaint for lack of basis.
“But we also believe that the public will see through this as a simple publicity stunt aimed at misdirecting public attention,” he said.
Carandang said impeachment must not be linked with the issue on PDAF or its abolition.
“If the issue is PDAF, no one has ever accused the President of misusing his PDAF,” he said. “It’s not even PDAF, forgive me, my mistake. No one has ever accused the President of misusing public funds and so there is no basis.”
Aquino has a social fund which by law is drawn from some of the earnings of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. for helping families of soldiers injured or killed in action.
“We have a whole list of that, which we will give to you, of what the social fund has been used for,” Carandang said. “We have funds which we set aside in the event of calamities.”
Carandang said the administration had been criticized for failing to spend aggressively for government projects, and that it was surprising that some would even imply a misuse of funds.
“(The criticism was that) we were being prudent with our expenses; that we were not spending enough money,” he said. “So how can you go from ‘this government is not spending enough money’ to ‘it is spending money irresponsibly’?”
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said he might consider filing an impeachment complaint against Aquino over the alleged misuse of PDAF. – With Eva Visperas