JV Ejercito: Impeach move vs PNoy won't prosper
MANILA - Senator JV Ejercito believes fund releases from the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) constitute an impeachable offense by the President.
"Kung mapapatunayan na may kinalaman ang pangulo dito, maaaring ito ay impeachable offense kasi nga ito ay labag sa konstitusyon," Ejercito told reporters on Wednesday.
Ejercito admitted that the call to impeach President Aquino is unlikely to prosper because of the popularity of the Chief Executive.
"Dapat lamang may managot...Kung si [Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad] man o kung sino man on a department level na may kinalaman sa pag-release nitong DAP na ito, dapat may managot hindi pwedeng puro [priority development assistance fund] lang tayo," Ejercito said.
"Somebody has to take the bullet for the president, ika nga."
Ejercito noted the realignment of the budget outside the General Appropriations Act (GAA) is unconstitutional.
Like the other senators, Ejercito said he was not aware of the DAP although he admitted that his office received an additional P10 million after Chief Justice Renato Corona was impeached and eventually convicted. Ejercito was then San Juan representative.
"Dapat may managot dito because this is unconstitutional. Kasi these are un-programmed funds. Kung savings man ito, dapat ginastos ito dun sa same programs that were included in the GAA. If you will use it for another purpose, e di dapat ibang appropriation yan," the senator said.
Senator Ralph Recto, for his part, said it is unlikely that the DAP funds were used as incentive for the Corona impeachment.
"It is hard to believe that you can bribe a senator, lalo na in cases of this magnitude," he said.
Asked whether he believes that the DAP should be abolished, Recto said that he believes that the President should have flexibility in terms of budget.
"Pero hindi naman tama na one-fourth of the budget or more ang flexibility," Recto said. In the end, he said, it all boils down to proper budgeting,