House to tackle ‘substance’ of Aquino impeachment complaints
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Tuesday is set to tackle the sufficiency in substance of the three impeachment complaints lodged against President Benigno Aquino III.
Sufficiency in substance means there is a presentation of facts that constitute the offense against the impeachable officer.
The first two complaints are about Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program, parts of which were 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.
The impeachment complaints were endorsed by militant lawmakers Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate, Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap, Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon, Act Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio aand Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus.
A fourth impeachment complaint accused Aquino of keeping the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the 2014 budget. The high tribunal declared as unconstitutional the congressional pork at the height of a corruption scandal under the alleged scheme of now detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. But the complaint failed to reach the floor in time for the committee referral of the first three complaints.
Last Tuesday, the complaints were found sufficient in form based on verification of complainants and endorsement of lawmakers.
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