News Flash

July 28, 2015, Tuesday
  • Suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay asks CA to hasten the decision on Ombudsman’s suspension order against him. about 1 hour ago |
  • 9 PNP officials bag promotions. about 1 hour ago |
  • Deles hopes Congress will pass BBL by October before its members get involved in election-related activities. about 1 hour ago |
  • Rep. Rufus Rodriguez expresses confidence on the passage of proposed BBL at the plenary in August. about 1 hour ago |
  • Sen. Chiz Escudero also resigns from Joint Congressional Oversight Cmte. on Public Expenditures. about 1 hour ago |
  • UNA Spokesman Mon Ilagan says VP Binay will deliver his own SONA any day now. about 1 hour ago |
  • UNA says Aquino’s criticisms vs. Binay at SONA was 'un-statesmanlike' but they still respect the President. about 1 hour ago |
  • PCCO Sec. Sonny Coloma says it was the President’s decision to make his SONA a long speech. about 1 hour ago |
  • Sen. Jinggoy Estrada says his detention over PDAF charge is an example of selective justice & not gov’t drive vs. corruption. about 1 hour ago |
  • Sen. Jinggoy Estrada says Aquino should not count the 3 senators’ detention as part of his administration’s accomplishments. about 1 hour ago |
  • Teachers’ Dignity Coalition dismayed when Pres. Aquino did not annouce any salary hike for teachers during SONA. about 1 hour ago |
  • Fmr. First Gentleman Mike Arroyo says Pres. Aquino’s report on textbooks and classrooms were all lies. about 1 hour ago |
  • Fmr. First Gentleman Mike Arroyo says Pres. Aquino’s last SONA was self-serving, lacking in content & full of propaganda. about 1 hour ago |
  • Fmr. First Gentleman Mike Arroyo says Pres. Aquino hit Mrs. Arroyo again at SONA because he lacked accomplishments. about 1 hour ago |
  • Belmonte has no plans of castigating 7 Makabayan bloc members after they flashed anti-Aquino banners after SONA. about 1 hour ago |
  • Belmonte admits he was embarassed when House Makabayan bloc booed Pres. Aquino after he delivered his SONA. 2 hours ago |
  • Sen. Chiz Escudero says he resigned from Finance cmte. chairmanship so that budget deliberations won’t be affected by talks on politics. 2 hours ago |
  • Sen. Chiz Escudero resigns as chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance. 2 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino’s SONA took about 2 hours and 10 minutes. 19 hours ago |
  • Some congressmen inside the session hall booed & raised anti-Aquino banners right after Pres. Aquino delivered his last SONA. 19 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “Our country’s transformation has just begun. Our direction depends on the Filipino people.” 19 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says the 2016 election will be a referendum for ‘Daang Matuwid.’ 19 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino cites survey that says 8 out of 10 Filipinos believe PH will soon become a developed country. 19 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino to the Filipino people: It gives me great honor to serve you. 19 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says his job is like that of a punching bag. 19 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino tells his siblings that only a few days remain & he will soon stop dragging them to the sacrifices he makes for the country. 19 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says the late DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo continues to give him inspiration. 19 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says Mar Roxas’ resilience vs. criticisms is proof that ‘you can’t put a good man down.’ 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino praises the members of his cabinet for their work. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino thanks Congress for passing meaningful laws. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “It’s time to pass an Anti-Dynasty Law.” 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino laments the views of those who are anti-BBL but can’t give a better alternative on how to achieve peace in Mindanao. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says it doesn’t matter if he is not present at groundbreaking ceremonies so long as projects are properly built. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says party affiliation is not a basis in implementing government projects. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino gives updates on government’s flood control projects. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: "The time is avoid responsibility has ended." 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino boasts of PNP’s 1:1 police-to-pistol ratio. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino identifies programs to enhance capabilities of the AFP and PNP. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says gov’t is moving to buy-out the MRT. 21 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino praises the supposed benefits of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) & K-12 programs. 21 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says only one labor strike was recorded in 2013. 21 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says Philippines is now ‘Asia’s Rising Tiger.’ 21 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino hails the huge number of cases filed by BIR Commissioner Kim Henares vs. tax evaders. 21 hours ago |
  • Aquino cites the detention of 3 senators & hospital arrest of a fmr. president as proof of his fight vs. corruption. 21 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino hits previous justice system that looked away from corruption. 21 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino seeks apologies for not doing the traditional SONA walk saying he does not feel well. 21 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino now walking towards session hall in Batasang Pambansa for his last SONA. 22 hours ago |
  • 3 helicopters currently flying over Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. 22 hours ago |
  • Long convoy of vehicles from PSG compound now traversing Marikina area. 22 hours ago |
  • Sen. Grace Poe arrives at Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City to listen to Pres. Aquino’s last SONA. 22 hours ago |
  • Tesda Chief Joel Villanueva says he is now 90% certain he will run for senate. 23 hours ago |
  • Long convoy of vehicles leaves PSG Compound in Malacanang heading to the area of San Juan. 23 hours ago |
  • NBI admits its probers weren’t able to enter the Manalo Compound in QC to probe abduction and hostage-taking claims. 23 hours ago |
  • NBI says there is no evidence that proves some INC members were abducted or taken hostage. 23 hours ago |
  • NBI considers reports of abduction & hostage-taking involving INC members a closed case. 23 hours ago |
  • 5 cops injured so far during commotion in the midst of anti-gov’t rallies along Commonwealth Avenue in QC. 23 hours ago |
  • Belmonte asks House members to explore the possibility of resuming peace negotiations with CPP/NDF. 23 hours ago |
  • Belmonte urges colleagues to pass the proposed BBL & “have the courage to finally come to peace with one another.” 23 hours ago |
  • Belmonte says the passage of economic chacha will reverse the trend of the economy’s “de-industrialization & de-agriculturalization.” 23 hours ago |
  • Belmonte seeks the passage of economic charter change & BBL in his speech at the opening of Congress’ 3rd regular session. 23 hours ago |
  • Traffic from Zuzuarregue St. to Philcoa along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City still light. 23 hours ago |
  • Philcoa going to Fairview along Commonwealth Avenue temporarily closed to motorists in view of SONA. 23 hours ago |
  • Traffic flow slow moving from Fairview to Elliptical Road along Commonwealth Ave. in QC as the bulk of anti-gov’t protesters arrive. 23 hours ago |

‘PNoy controls Congress; unlikely to be impeached

By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Oct. 04, 2013 at 12:09am
While it is likely that President Benigno Aquino III committed a culpable violation of the Constitution, he is unlikely to be impeached because he controls both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said Thursday.

Like other law experts, Santiago said it was possible that the President broke the law when he realigned public funds to support projects under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) created by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, whom she said should resign.

She said the administration committed a major blunder when it failed to consult a constitutional expert on the legality of the DAP.

“Apparently there was a lack... of legal analysis,” she said. A presidential spokesman said the President has ordered Abad to make a full accounting of where the DAP funds were spent.

In the House, congressional leaders laughed off an impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Oliver Lozano against Mr. Aquino for culpable violations of the Constitution as a result of the fund releases under the DAP.

“Seriously?” said House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who expressed doubt that the case would even reach first base. The President’s allies in the House also said there was no legal basis for impeaching Mr. Aquino.

Also on Thursday, a losing senatorial candidate questioned the legality of the DAP disbursements before the Supreme Court.

Earlier this week, Santiago and former senator Joker Arroyo said the creation of DAP was “illegal and unconstitutional.”

In a phone patch interview with Senate reporters Thursday, Santiago said it was illegal and unconstitutional for the Budget Department to allocate P50 million from the DAP for projects identified by each of the 20 senators who voted to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona in May last year.

Only Santiago and Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Joker Arroyo who voted to acquit Corona, the President’s political nemesis, did not receive the extra allocations.

On Wednesday, the dean of the San Beda College Graduate School of Law, Ranhillo Aquino, and the dean emeritus of the Ateneo Law Schoo, Joaquin Bernas also questioned the legality of the DAP.

San Beda’s Aquino, in particular, refuted the Palace’s legal justification for the program.

Santiago said the money used for the DAP did not come from government savings, but from unfinished and slow-moving projects of some agencies.

“Savings in a constitutional contexts means that money was set aside for certain projects. The project was carried out and finished and yet there was money left. That’s savings. But if you look at the history of the DAP, there was no completion of any project,” she said.

And since the issue was legal, she proposed that it be resolved by the Supreme Court.

“My humble opinion is that it’s unconstitutional. But first of all, let’s have the last word from added.

In a separate television interview, Santiago said she favored filing a case before the Supreme Court to question the legality of the DAP, since it also violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

Not all lawmakers were informed about the DAP funds, she said.

“That’s a violation of the equal protection clause, which is a keystone of all human rights. I never received any communication with a request to the DAP and I was astonished that there is such a thing. I never found it in the 2001 budget or the 2012 budget during our deliberations,” she said.

Santiago added that DAP usurps the power of Congress over the purse, saying any move to funnel savings of government agencies into new projects should have congressional approval.

But she said there was no need for hostility in seeking the Supreme Court’s ruling on DAP, since she wants the President to succeed.

“We just don’t want him to listen to wrong advice,” she said.

The move to question the legality of DAP before the SC was supported by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who cited the need to determine whether the funds have basis under the 1987 Constitution or not.

In the same TV interview, Trillanes, who received his P50 million allocation from the DAP funds after Corona’s conviction, said he saw nothing wrong with the disbursements because the President is given the discretion to realign funds.

He said all heads of the branches of government have the authority to realign funds within their Trillanes also denied that the P50 million he received was an incentive or bribe to convict Corona.

“Most of the public would agree that Corona deserved to be kicked out. I would not need an incentive to make a very easy decision,” he said.

Santiago maintained that the President cannot be ousted from office because he wields power over the congressmen and senators.

“Remember that people who want him impeached would have to get one-third vote in the House and two-thirds vote in the Senate so that’s not going to be practical. It will only be theoretical,” she said.

She added that the lawmakers would not want to impeach Aquino because doing so would implicate those who received funds from the DAP.

“If they impeach the President, they would be, in effect, admitting at the very least that they are accomplices and accessories to a crime,” she said.

She said impeaching Aquino at this point was “practically impossible.” With Joyce P. Pañares, Maricel V. Cruz and Rey E. Requejo

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