MANILA - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has made no secret of his support for President Aquino even amid calls for the President's impeachment over the disbursement acceleration program.
Speaking at the Umagang Harapan segment of an ABS-CBN morning show, he said he is not inclined to support moves to remove Aquino from power through impeachment because he does not see evidence that the President committed a crime.
He then turned to Kabataan Party-list Rep. Terry Ridon, who endorsed one of the complaints, and asked: "Tatanuningin kita Congressman Ridon, magkano ba ninakaw ni President Aquino at kailangan siyang tanggalin?"
Ridon replied: "Ibang usapin ang krimen. Impeachable offense ang culpable violation of the Constitution."
Trillanes then pointed out that even the congressman who endorsed the complaint cannot point out that the President stole money from the nation's coffers.
"Yun na nga mismo. Yung nagtutulak ng impeachment walang masabi kung magkano ninakaw kasi wala hong ninakaw," he said.
"Yung sinasabing executive action na unconstitutional, normal po yan in the course of an administration. May ginagawa ang legislature at executive na dine-declare na unconstitutional ng SC," he added.
Trillanes praised Aquino's policies for modernizing the Armed Forces and providing housing to soldiers and policemen, which were complaints he raised during the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny.
He said that after four years in power, President Aquino has not been accused of any corruption scandal.
Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, a known ally of President Aquino, also backed up Trillanes, noting that the Supreme Court also declared the priority development assistance funds as unconstitutional. However, he said the SC did not say that those who used the PDAF should be held accountable.
He also said he does not support the impeachment because he does not want Vice-President Jejomar Binay to take over.
"Sino papalit? Si Binay? Yung matinong Pangulo papalitan mo ng corrupt?" he asked.
For his part, former budget secretary Benjamin Diokno said the President's crime is that he spent P144 billion in government funds without authority from Congress.
"Yun ang krimen. Unconstitutional yun," he said.
He also downplayed the country's strong economic growth, noting that the Philippines is still the poorest nation compared to its neighbors.
"Ang pinangako niyang pagbabago walang nangyayari at yung foreign direct investment matumal. Nakikita ko from hereon pabagsak na ang ekonomiya," he said.