MANILA – Malacañang said President Aquino got justice following the recent junking of the impeachment complaints against him.
Citing insufficiency of substance, the justice committee of the House of Representatives voted an identical 54-4 on all three impeachment complaints against the president.
“Note that the group that heard the impeachment complaint is called the committee on justice. So, if that was the decision of the committee of justice, perhaps we can say that that was the outcome of the process,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said in a statement.
After a four-hour debate that involved heated arguments between Aquino’s allies and critics, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr.,chairman of the committee dismissed all the three complaints.
Meanwhile, endorsers of the complaints expressed dismay over the committee’s decision.
“This is a terrible day for the Filipino people,” Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, who endorsed the first impeachment complaint, told the committee.
Despite Colmenares request to give the endorsers of the complaints an ample time to defend their charges, Tupas, who was prevailed upon by the Liberal Party-dominated committee, already started the voting on the complaints.
“These are heavy and serious violations of the constitutional provision that ‘No money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law,’” Colmenares said.
“Mr. Aquino knowingly and intentionally violated the law prohibiting transfer of appropriation, according to the definition of savings under the law, in cross-border augmentation, and spending not covered by budget. For three years, he repeatedly continued this violation involving billions of pesos in funds,” he said.
Those who found not enough reason to impeachment the president, however, defended the committee’s decision.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez , who found no perversity in Aquino’s actions said serious offense that “strikes at the very heart of the nation,” must be considered before impeachment.