Former coup plotters and a former high-ranking police officer are standing by President Benigno Aquino 3rd and will not support any of the three impeachment complaints lodged against the country’s leader mainly in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP, which was recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC).
Now congressmen Ashley Acedillo and Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list and Romeo Acop of Antipolo City, Rizal, on Wednesday said they are supporting Aquino because he acted in good faith when he implemented the DAP.
“Despite his shortcomings, we believe in the President and his administration,” Acedillo, a former Air Force combat pilot, said in a press conference on Wednesday.
He and Alejano participated in at least two coup attempts against then-President Gloria Arroyo.
Alejano, a former Marine captain, said he is convinced that Aquino did not implement the DAP to steal from government coffers and, therefore, should not be liable for it.
“The question in an impeachment process is: Is the President still deserving of his post? Do we need to remove him? The President is doing his best. Unfortunately, he unwittingly made a move, which did not sit well with the Supreme Court. That is why Congress will be addressing the issue on defining savings,” he added.
“The President did not implement the DAP to get more for himself and steal from us. He did it to implement projects,” Alejano said.
Acop seemed to have reserved detailed comment, only saying, “We all know that impeachment is a political process. I need not say more because I belong to the Liberal Party (LP).”
The LP is headed by Aquino.
At least three impeachment raps have been filed against the President, citing culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
Of the two complaints, two concern the controversial acceleration program and the other, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United States.|
The Supreme Court found illegal certain DAP provisions: withdrawal of unobligated allotments from implementing agencies and declaration of withdrawn allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to end of fiscal year; cross-border transfers of savings of the executive to augment appropriations of other offices outside of the executive and funding of projects, activities and programs not covered by any appropriation in General Appropriations Acts.