MANILA - The House of Representatives justice committee may vote on the impeachment complaints against President Benigno Aquino III next week.
The fourth complaint filed on Monday morning alleging that Aquino continued to “perpetuate” the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the 2014 budget may not be included, however.
IIoilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., the head of the committee, said he wants the complaints to be forwarded to the committee immediately so that members can already vote on it.
Based on the process, the committee has to vote whether or not the complaints are sufficient in form. They will next vote if these are sufficient in substance, which is the most difficult to prove.
The committee may tackle only the first 3 complaints, which deal with Aquino’s actions on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), he said.
He said it may be too late for the fourth complaint.
Based on the rules, only one impeachment complaint can be entertained by the House of Representatives per year. The first three can be consolidated.
President Benigno Aquino III is not bothered by the start of the impeachment proceedings against him, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. had said.
In an interview with radio dzRB, Coloma said Aquino is confident he has not done anything that would warrant an impeachment and removal from office.
“Hindi po nababahala ang Pangulo doon sa mga proceedings na ‘yan dahil panatag naman po siya na wala siyang nagawang ano mang impeachable offense,” he said.
According to Coloma, it would be best to leave the process to the House of Representatives, which is mandated under the Constitution to assess and eventually proceed with impeach cases with merits. – with reports from Jon Ibanez, dzMM