MANILA - One of the complainants in the impeachment against President Benigno Aquino III said the President should just respond to the complaints filed against him.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes said in a statement, "Aquino's defense versus any criticism can be summed up in two points: 'Pakana yan ng Kaliwa. Pinepersonal ako.'"
"Wow. Very mature for a President. Aquino simply refuses to focus on the merits of the impeachment complaints and instead engages in ways to muddle the issues," he said.
Reyes was reacting to Aquino's statement that most of the people who filed the impeachment complaints against him belong to the Left, and that it has become their habit to criticize him.
Reyes called on the House Justice Committee to approve the impeachment complaints as sufficient in substance and proceed to the next stage where Aquino will be requires to answer the allegations in writing.
"Let us complainants present our evidence and let Aquino refute them if he can. Let us go into the merits of the complaints. Let the President answer the allegations of culpable violation of constitution and betrayal of public trust. Let the people decide," he said.
In a separate statement, House Justice Committee Chair Niel Tupas Jr. said they have set the hearing of the substance of the complaints next week.
"If the Committee thinks that there is substance then it will declare the complaints sufficient in substance. But if otherwise, then it will dismiss the complaints."
According to Tupas, "substance is met if there is a recital of facts constituting the offense charge and determinative of the jurisdiction of the committee. Simply means that assuming the allegations or the recital of facts are true, does it constitute the impeachable offense of betrayal of public trust or culpable violation of the constitution. The endorsers should convince the committee on this based solely on the complaint for the committee to declare the complaints sufficient in substance."
Aquino faces impeachment over the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).