A party-list coalition in the House of Representatives has signed a manifesto to oppose the impeachment complaints filed against President Benigno Aquino III in connection with the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Ako Bicol party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe said the 40-member party-list bloc considered the impeachment illogical, time-wasting and divisive process.
“Ang sinasabi po namin dito sa partylist ay aside from baseless, ito ay magsasayang ng oras ng Kongreso dahil alam naman po natin ang impeachment proceedings ay isang proceeding na talagang nahahati po ang ating bayan,” Batocabe said.
“Ang nangyayari po rito, sa halip na pagtuunan po namin ng pansin ang mga ginagawa ng Kongreso ay pagtutuunan na lamang po natin ng pansin ang impeachment complaint,” he added.
He admitted that some of the signatories have yet to read the complaints but still decided to oppose to save the Lower House from the inconvenience and delays in the legislative mills.
This puts the Ako Bicol-led party-list bloc in a head-on collision with the Makabayan bloc whose members have separately endorsed the three impeachment complaints.
He said most of those who signed the manifesto were from the majority coalition excluding Akbayan Representative Walden Bello.
Ninety-seven votes of the 290 congressmen or 1/3 of the members of Congress are needed for an impeachment case to prosper. This would then be transmitted to the Senate for trial.
Other allies of President Aquino in Congress also earlier expressed support for him saying that attempts to oust him will not succeed since he has the majority of the Lower House.
President Aquino is facing three impeachment complaints for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust. The first and second complaints were filed by militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and youth groups in relation to the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which the Supreme Court declared as partially unconstitutional. The third impeachment complaint against the President is for the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States.