Lawyer Oliver Lozano on Thursday filed an impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino 3rd over releases from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
In the two-page complaint he filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, Lozano said Aquino had admitted appropriating the P72-billion DAP “without due appropriation from Congress” which has the sole power of the purse.
Lozano added that a portion of the DAP was used to bribe lawmakers who impeached former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona.
”The Ombudsman should investigate this alleged culpable violation of the Constitution that is prejudicial to the government employees in particular and the people in general,” Lozano said.
He said the Ombudsman “may be swayed” by his impeachment complaint as it had in the case of former president and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga province.
Lozano jumped the gun on the Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) which is also preparing its impeachment complaint against the President.
Dante Jimenez, VACC founding chairman, said on Thursday Aquino may enjoy the support of the majority of members of the Senate and House of Representatives but it will not stop the filing of an impeachment complaint against him.
Jimenez said volunteer lawyers of the organization are preparing the compliant, and some lawmakers pledged to back it in the House.
He said Aquino violated the Constitution and committed grave abuse of discretion when he allowed the release of public funds through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which was not sanctioned by Congress.
Senator Miriam Santiago and former senator Joker Arroyo consider the release of DAP illegal.
“Constitutionalist Father Joa-quin Bernas and other respectable lawmakers already said that it (DAP) is illegal, so let us see if the members of Congress will tolerate this,” Jimenez said.
He said the impeachment complaint might prosper despite Aquino’s popularity.
“Remember, former president Erap was very popular, even more popular than P-Noy was, but we were able to impeach him and file cases against him,” Jimenez noted.
“The impeachment case we plan to file is a long shot but I still believe in miracles,” Jimenez said.
Senator Santiago said that even if the President committed an impeachable offense, any move to oust him will not prosper because he controls both houses of Congress.
She said impeaching the President will be impractical because the country doesn’t need another divisive scandal.
“Remember that people who want him impeached will have to get a one third vote in the House and two-thirds vote in the Senate,” she said.
Santiago, who is also a constitutional law expert, said that since the President is immune from suit, he cannot be charged in any court.
“That’s why he is not saying sue me in court. He’s saying impeach me in Congress. But as I said, that is practically in practice impossible,” she pointed out.