Impeachment of VP over intel funds mulled
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte hoped that ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro was relishing the thought of her impeachment because questions about Duterte’s discretionary funds will soon be answered.
“I hope she finds gratification and great joy over the thought of my impeachment … Enjoy,” Duterte said in a caustic response to Castro’s statement that she was studying the Vice President’s impeachment.
During a House hearing on the budget of the Commission on Audit (COA), Gamaliel Cordoba, chair of COA, confirmed that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) reported P125 million in confidential expenses for 2022.
The lawmaker said Duterte should explain “how she could incur obligations amounting to P125 million in confidential expenses in the last six months of 2022 [although] her office has no congressional authorization to do so for that year.”
‘How P125 million was spent’
“Without such congressional authorization, the strict rule prohibiting public disclosure of the use of confidential funds does not apply in this case. Therefore, we ask that the OVP provide a detailed public accounting of how the P125 million was spent,” Castro said.
“In light of the possible numerous violations of the OVP on the use of P125 million confidential fund, which is not in the 2022 General Appropriations Act, the Makabayan bloc is not discounting the fact that it may file an impeachment case against the Vice President,” she added in a message to the Inquirer.
“Where did the funds come from? How was it spent? This is very, very questionable. We will eventually reach that point of deciding whether to file an impeachment case, once we have completed our data, information and documents.”
Ground for impeachment
She said the House appropriations committee has already directed the COA to submit a report on the OVP’s confidential funds in 2022 and the three-member Makabayan bloc was waiting for the report.
“We will study the possibility of making her accountable if there are really violations of the law,” Castro said in a press conference on Friday.
“Especially on the misuse of public funds and technical malversation and violating the 1987 Constitution because a government official is bound to follow the Constitution, and it’s a ground for impeachment, if you don’t,” she added. INQ