Yellow, red, pink virus? Impeachment knows no color, says VACC lawyer

Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2017 10:35 AM | Updated as of Oct 25 2017 10:49 AM

MANILA - Impeachment complaints filed before Congress this year are not meant to target "yellow" public officials or those who are being linked to the Aquino administration, according to a lawyer from the Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).

Speaking to ANC Wednesday, VACC lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said they are targeting impeachable officials who they believe are unfit to continue holding a position in the government, regardless of political affiliation.

"Yellow, red, pink... whatever. It does not matter. Our only criterion is the fitness for public office... It is not a matter of color it is a matter of principle," said Topacio who is preparing an impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.

Topacio admits that the VACC has been involved in the impeachment complaints filed against the officials that earned the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte.

But the lawyer said this does not mean they are "attack dogs" of the administration, as some critics might think.

"VACC are definitely a group of attack dogs and we've been attacking crime and corruption for the longest time now. We have no official links with the current president," he said.

One of the officials linked to the Aquino administration who has been the subject of an impeachment complaint is Vice President Leni Robredo. The complaint had no endorser in Congress.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III, is also facing an impeachment complaint for alleged misdeclaration of wealth in her statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth. The complaint was filed by Lorenzo "Larry" Gadon, a former Kilusang Bagong Lipunan senatorial bet in 2016 and lawyer of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Former Comelec Chair Andres Bautista, also an Aquino appointee, was also impeached but it was dropped after he resigned. He was accused of amassing P1 billion in hidden wealth by his estranged wife, Patricia.

Another Aquino appointee, Ombudsman Morales, meanwhile, is accused by the VACC of selective justice for allegedly protecting the former president through filing of a weaker case in connection with the Mamasapano massacre.

An impeachment complaint was also filed against President Duterte by his critics but was dismissed by the House of Representatives.