House panel to start hearings on PNoy impeach raps

By Paolo Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 08 2014 04:23 AM | Updated as of Aug 08 2014 12:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The committee on justice of the House of Representatives will soon start hearings on the impeachment complaints filed against President Aquino as the chamber’s plenary is scheduled to refer the charges to the panel on Monday.

Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, who chairs the committee on rules, said Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. had transmitted the three impeachment complaints to his office for inclusion in the chamber’s order of business next week.

He said the plenary would make a one-time referral of the three impeachment complaints endorsed by party-list lawmakers to allow consolidation.

“The House committee on justice can consolidate the complaints, it is up to them to do that,” Gonzales said.

The first impeachment complaint of 28 individuals from the anti-pork barrel groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan was filed last July 21, followed by another one lodged by 25 youth and student groups headed by Youth Act Now!

Both impeachment complaints accused Aquino of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust over the Disbursement Acceleration Program, parts of which was declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio and Gabriela Rep. Emmerenciana de Jesus endorsed the third impeachment complaint filed by 21 individuals from various progressive groups led by former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, president of the Makabayan coalition.

They accused Aquino of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust for directing the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United States.