No Secretary General to receive 4th impeachment rap vs Aquino
MANILA, Philippines — A fourth impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino III over his supposed “hidden” pork barrel in the 2014 budget despite a Supreme Court ruling abolishing the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) has been submitted.
Among the complainants are ACT Teacher representative Antonio Tinio and National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbero.
Before he filed the complaint, Tinio said in an interview that the 2014 budget still has hidden P70-million pork barrel funds for each lawmaker.
He cited meetings with Commission on Higher Education (Ched) chairperson Patricia Licuanan and Department of Health Undersecretary Janet Garin who both said on record that lawmakers may recommend scholarship and health projects using the budget allotted to these agencies.
Tinio said the recordings of these meetings are in a CD he would submit with the impeachment complaint.
He said at least P14 million for each lawmaker were allotted for scholarship programs in Ched and at least P10 million for medical assistance under DOH.
Tinio had said that Aquino inserted his alleged pork barrel funds in the budget despite the Supreme Court ruling declaring the congressional pork Priority Development Assistance Funds as illegal.
“We will impeach the President for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for perpetuating the system of congressional pork despite the SC ruling. Part of the evidence we will use are statements made by Cabinet officials but never before made public,” Tinio said in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report.
The first two complaints were about Aquino’s outlawed Disbursement Acceleration Program, parts of the stimulus program declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The third is over the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which seeks a greater US military presence in the country despite a constitutional ban on foreign bases.
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