Another impeachment case was filed against President Benigno Aquino 3rd by a sectoral group on Thursday.
Sanlakas led by lawyer Aaron Pedrosa and other leaders of various peoples’ organizations submitted their 51-page impeachment complaint to the Office of the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives, just two days before Congress resumes session on Monday for Aquino’s fifth State of the Nation Address.
Its complaint brought to five the number of impeachment cases filed against the President after some portions of the Malacañang-initiated Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court recently.
Only two of the cases were deemed valid by the secretary-general’s office.
Petitioners in the latest impeachment complaint anchored their case on charges of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.
“Unlike the previous cases filed, our complaint revolves around the highly questionable spending habits of Aquino, how he deliberately went . . . beyond constitutionally-mandated limitations and instituted what legal luminaries would consider as fiscal dictatorship,” Pedrosa told the media before filing the complaint.
The petitioners said the President betrayed public trust “through tyrannical abuse of power and gross exercise of discretionary powers” when under Aquino’s directives, public funds were cornered as “savings to be expended at his pleasure.”
They added that Aquino culpably violated the Constitution when he undermined Congress, the peoples’ representatives in government, and its power of the purse “when he declared unreleased appropriations and withdrew unobligated allotments from the appropriations in violation of the separation of powers” provision of the Charter.
Pedrosa said the DAP was merely the tip of the iceberg, citing a long history of allegedly abusive and arbitrary fiscal malpractices of the Aquino administration.
“As early as August 2010, he had already declared that the zero-based budgeting program was his spending strategy and a cornerstone of his daang matuwid [straight path]and when it backfired and reaped criticisms for underspending, he rectified his miscalculation by operationalizing the DAP to cover lost ground.”
Among the programs that the Sanlakas said were capriciously defaced by the President in that year were the 2009 budget-approved Department of Education’s Food for School Program, which he transferred to the Social Welfare department; the Department of Agriculture’s input subsidies; and the Kalayaan barangay (village) program.
On the likely possibility that the Aquino allies in Congress will quash all their efforts and not endorse the cases filed before the House of Representatives, Pedrosa said, “Despite the tyranny of numbers being employed by this deceitful regime, the actions and statements of Aquino and co-conspirators shall only expose their brand of ‘good governance and democracy’ to the poor majority.”
“Tyrants and plunderers will come and go but the resolute masses shall fight on for they have none to fear after “representa-thieves” have taken away everything but their will to liberate themselves from graft, corruption and elite supremacy,” he added.
Among the petitioners were Leody de Guzman of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Sonny Melencio of Partido Lakas ng Masa, Flor Santos-Assidao of Metro Manila Vendors Alliance and Lidy Nakpil, the current national head of Sanlakas.
They all claimed to be determined to mobilize thousands upon thousands of their members on Monday to reveal the true and appalling state of the nation to counter what they called “Aquino’s recycled lies, insignificant motherhood statements and doctored statistics and reports”