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Impeachment against Aquino won’t prosper – senator

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:09 PM October 02, 2013

Senator JV Ejercito. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO/RYAN LEAGOGO

MANILA, Philippines – An opposition  senator expressed doubt that any impeachment move would prosper now against  President Benigno Aquino III over the alleged misuse of public funds.

“I think we have to be honest; it will not prosper  now,”  Senator  JV Ejercito told reporters on Wednesday .

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“Unang-una, yung timing at pangalawa, we have a very popular president himself. At siguro kung ano man ang impeachment case ang isampa laban sa kanya, mahihirapang umusad dahil popular ang ating Pangulo,” he said.

(Primarily,  the timing and second,  we have a very popular president.  And I think any impeachment case that will be filed against him won’t prosper because  our president is so popular.)

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But Ejercito  said someone must be held accountable whether it is Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad or anyone  responsible for the release of funds through the so-called  Disbursement  Acceleration Program or DAP of the government.

Abad said the funds that were given to 20 senators after the impeachment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona were sourced from government savings and coursed  through the DAP.

Ejercito  admitted that he was among those who received the DAP fund  when he was still a congressman.

But the senator said  he accepted the P10-million fund offered to him  because he thought it came from the presidential social fund also known as the President’s “pork barrel” funds.

“Buong akala ko galing sa PSF baka sobrang pondo ng  gobyerno …Kung nalaman ko lang na ito ay galing sa saving ng iba’t ibang departamento at program ay marahil  aka hindi ko kinuha pero hindi ko talaga alam e,”  he said.

(I thought it came from the PSF, from excess  funds of the government. Had I known  that it came from the savings of various departments and programs, then I might have not accepted  it. But I really  had no idea).

Ejercito agreed with Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and former Senator Joker Arroyo that the fund releases through the DAP were unconstitutional and illegal.

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If the funds indeed came from the government’s savings, he said it should be given to projects programmed in the General Appropriations Act and should not be used for other purposes.

“Hindi po ako abugado, pero sa aking pagkakaalam, ’pag wala ito sa approved budget ng Kongreso ay illegal ang paggamit po nito lalong-lalo na sa ibang paraan,” he pointed out.

(I’m not a lawyer but as far as I know , if it’s not in the approved budget of Congress then the use of the fund is illegal, especially  for other purposes.)

Ejercito then backed an investigation into the matter so that those responsible would be held accountable.

“Dapat  may managot kasi kung hndi  po sya aakuin halimbawa  ni Secretary Abad, ito pong iligal na paggamit ng pondong ito e syempre po ang ating Pangulo po ang tatamaan,” he said.

“I think somebody has to take  the bullet  for  the President. The buck has to stop there para hindi na umabot sa Pangulo. Kailangang may managot sa  nangyaring  pag release ng DAP na ito,” the senator added.

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TAGS: Disbursement Acceleration Program, Florencio Abad, Nation, News, Pork barrel
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