Makabayan bloc to PNoy: It's time to step down

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2015 04:05 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2015 12:05 AM

Denies they are for VP Binay

MANILA -- Members of the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives have joined calls for President Benigno Aquino III to resign.

The minority lawmakers also revived calls for congressmen to impeach the president, noting that the House has yet to tackle the Aquino impeachment last year in plenary.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, for his part, dismissed the resignation calls.

The Makabayan bloc in a press conference Wednesday, called for Aquino's resignation and flashed letters spelling out the word ''resign."

In 2014, the House Justice Committee dismissed 3 impeachment complaints against Aquino over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

The dismissal of the complaints has yet to be affirmed in the plenary of the House. The panel reported the impeachment but it has yet to be discussed in the agenda.

The DAP's unconstitutionality has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

DAP, MAMASAPANO ISSUES

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said, "bilang petitioners sa DAP welcome ang decision ng SC affirming the unconstitutionality ng DAP.

''The decision affirms the correctness of the position of the people that DAP is wrong. There must be accountability. Kaya sinasabi sa impeachment ng committee na premature. Wala na ngayon iyan sa kumite. Kaya panawagan sa plenary, dahil hindi pa naman nasalang ang committee report sa impeachment sa plenary, lahat ng Kongresista na naniniwala sa desisyon ng SC na the DAP is unconstitutional and may accountability sa pagwaldas ng P142 billion. Dapat bumoto to reverse the decision ng kumite at ituloy ang impeachment," he said.

Colmenares said the Mamasapano clash, where 44 elite cops were killed, should be another reason for Aquino to step down.

''Dagdag sa Mamasapano na operations-wise, kasalanan ni President Aquino kung bakit nasunog sa kamatayan ang miyembro ng SAF. Siya may pananagutan dito...ang latest, nanawagan mga Obispo [na mag-resign],'' he said.

''Panahon na para manawagan ang sambayang Pilipino na magbitiw na si Pangulong Aquino."

Gabriela party-list Rep. Luz Ilagan, meanwhile, said, "Aquino is really a disaster president – Yolanda, Zamboanga – these are manifestations ng incompetence. Ngayon nangyari naman sa Mamasapano."

''That's another disaster. Will we wait for another disaster? Dapat bumaba na siya. He should be held accountable for the latest disaster and we join other voices that call for his resignation."

Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said, "Nasa kamay ni Pangulong Aquino ang dugo ng lahat ng namatay sa Mamasapano."

''Nariyan ang DAP, EDCA, Mamasapano. Pangulong Aquino mag-resign ka na," he said.

Gabriela party-list Rep. Emmy de Jesus said, "Ang tinig ng kababaihan lalo na sa marginalized sector sawang-sawa na sa pangulo."

Anakapwis Rep. Fernando Hicap said, "Malinaw ang magsasaka biktima ng DAP ni Aquino at Butch Abad."

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said, "ang hirap ng presidenteng walang pagtingin sa ordinaryong mamayan, presidenteng who cannot empathize with ordinary policemen, farmers, laborers. Ang ginawa niya sa Mamasapano, pinadala niya sa suicide mission yung mga pulis. Ang layo pa sa semana santa nagponsyo pilato na."

Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon said, "kailangan magkaroon ng truth commission, hustisya para sa namatayan."

NOT FOR BINAY

Colmenares clarified upon questioning they are not doing this for Aquino's constitutional successor, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

''Una, kahit nung impeachment complaint pa lang, ibig sabihin paalisin sa pwesto ito nangyari panawagan ng resignation based sa developments before. Hindi naman kami nanawagan before kung sino papalit sa kaniya, desisyon ng taongbayan kung sino papalit sa kaniya.

''Hindi dapat pumosisyon ang tama o mali depende sa sino ang papalit. Wala kaming pagkampi kahit kanino"

BELMONTE: KALOKOHAN

Belmonte dismissed the calls.

''Well, kalokohan. To be very blunt, we have an investigation to be made in the House. We are going to start our own formal investigation on Wednesday and we want to find out the truth, all sorts of interesting facts have been creeping out slowly. We want to put them together through their investigation."

Regarding the ruling on the DAP, Belmonte said, "the ruling of the SC on the DAP was a ruling in the right direction. The ruling took note na napakarami ring nagawa at progresong naganap sa bansa dahil sa DAP.

''There are some things that should be done. Mabuti rin naman na may clarification. That's the cornerstone of Constitution - you cannot presume their guilt as was implied, an opinion rather than ruling.

''It did not leave the executive with its hand tied. Certainly through good coordination between executive as executive and legislature as lawmakers. I think we can move on. I expect 2015 to be a lot more, to have much growth, in terms of inclusive growth as well. Kaya ako, maganda pagtanaw ko sa desisyon na iyun."

Belmonte also twitted the bishops who called for Aquino to resign.

"Bishops should not be interfering in politics talaga eh. Kaniya kaniya naman sila, kaluluwa ng mga Pilipino yung isipin nila. Walang basis except perhaps sa resentment of some of them."