MANILA — There is no doubt that majority of the members of the House of Representatives will rally behind President Benigno Aquino III if some sectors will try to impeach the Chief Executive, said Samar Rep. and Liberal Party (LP) Secretary-General Mel Senen Sarmiento on Wednesday.
According to Sarmiento, an impeachment complaint against the President on the basis of the Supreme Court ruling that declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as “unconstitutional” would not gather enough support because it is bereft of any legal and moral basis.
“In the case of DAP, which has been practiced even in previous administrations, the (Aquino) administration was clearly acting in good faith and therefore no one should be demanding impeachment or resignation,” he said.
“I believe that we should even thank the President for giving this practice a name for the purpose of transparency. This is the best proof to show that he really means well when he decided to increase public spending to jumpstart the economy,” he added.
The Visayan solon said there are instances when some practices that have been ongoing are later found to be unconstitutional when challenged before the SC and in those cases, when the acts were done in good faith, the SC merely issues a reminder not to do it again.
He clarified that the SC ruling can’t be used as a basis for impeaching the President because there was a presumption of regularity on the use of the DAP prior to the High Tribunal’s resolution.
“Any impeachment complaint against the President will not fly because the President has not done anything to betray public trust. He did not steal any money from the government and has maintained the highest standard expected of a government official. There’s really no basis for any impeachment complaint,” Sarmiento said.
He stressed the SC ruling simply clarified the issue on the use of unprogrammed funds which has been a practice even by the past administrations.
Sarmiento said the use of such funds to finance government projects “is not a new concept. This has been practiced even in the past but it is only under this administration that it finally got its name.”