MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV believes President Aquino did not commit an impeachable offense in initiating the disbursement acceleration program (DAP), which was declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Trillanes said Aquino did not pocket the money and used it to deliver services to the people.
He believes that any impeachment complaint against Aquino in connection with the DAP will not prosper in the Senate.
“Kung maaaring maipasa man nila ‘yan sa House, hindi ‘yan papasa sa Senado. Kasi… hindi naman tong as if, nag-declare siya ng savings at ibinulsa niya, ibang usapan ‘yun. Ito ginamit din niya ito sa kanyang mandato bilang Pangulo ng Pilipinas, ginastos ito sa mga programang sa kanilang paniniwala ay makakatulong sa development ng ating bansa,” Trillanes said.
For his part, Sen. Ralph Recto said the Aquino administration had already stopped "any and all acts the Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional."
These acts include:
withdrawal of the unobligated allotments from implementing agencies and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Act (GAA);
the cross border transfers of the savings of the executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the executive; and
the funding of projects, activities and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA.
"These practices have long been abandoned. These violations are not in progress but have long been unilaterally terminated by the government. There could have been an oversight in the way the funds were released but I am sure that by and large, they were properly spent," Recto said.
He added: "Remember that there is no allegation that they were stolen. The debate was on the process followed. The discussion centered on the means rather than the end."
Recto said the proposed 2015 national budget, specifically its provisions, should become DAP decision-compliant.