Visayan bloc to stop PNoy impeach moves

By Paolo Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 09 2014 10:19 AM | Updated as of Aug 09 2014 06:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Visayan bloc in the House of Representatives yesterday vowed to stop any move to impeach President Aquino and reiterated its support for the administration.

Thirty-three party-list and district lawmakers from the Visayas led by Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez signed a resolution committing their support for Aquino, and their voting clout to block moves to oust him.

“We believe in the programs of President Aquino that gave life to his vision of engaging the national government in sound fiscal management, which empowered government agencies and instrumentalities to implement key projects and to deliver urgently needed aid to the people,” the group said.

The bloc said numerous projects for their constituents have been implemented “through the initiative and effective budgetary management” of the Aquino administration.

“We value the programs of the President directed to enhance commerce, tourism, infrastructure, development and the delivery of basic services in our congressional districts in the Visayas,” the lawmakers said.

They expressed solidarity with the strategic vision and framework for economic development of the administration.

The Visayan lawmakers said they have full confidence in Aquino’s determined bid to “shepherd our people toward the bright promise of a peaceful and prosperous nation through his unswerving dedication to trekking the straight path.”

The House committee on justice is set to start hearings on the impeachment complaints filed against Aquino as the chamber’s plenary is scheduled to refer the charges to the panel on Monday.

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

The first impeachment complaint of 28 individuals from the anti-pork barrel groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan was filed on 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 his Disbursement Acceleration Program, parts of which were declared 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 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 US.