Nature of the Action.
This impeachment complaint is initiated against President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust under Section 2, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution.
The basic thesis is that BS Aquino III, as President and Chief Executive, through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), intentionally and knowingly centralized and controlled public funds through disingenuous acts and practices and turned it into his own Presidential pork barrel in violation of the Constitution and existing laws. These acts constitute a usurpation of the power of the Legislature and a mockery of the principle of separation of powers and checks-and-balances in government.
Twenty eight (28) individuals signed the impeachment complaint. The complainants include the petitioners in the Supreme Court case questioning the legality of the DAP led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) and Atty. Jose Malvar Villegas, Jr., leaders of peoples’ organizations, church people and netizens. They are initiating the action as citizens and taxpayers.
I. Culpable Violation of the Constitution.
President Aquino culpably violated the Constitution when he knowingly, willfully and intentionally usurped the powers of the Legislature and undermined the system of checks and balances when he transgressed explicit provisions of the 1987 Constitution such as: Article VI Sections 25(5) or the no transfer of appropriations provision and 29(1) or the Legislature’s power of the purse, and of Article VII, Section 17 or the provision on the President’s duty to faithfully execute the laws. These acts patently violate the principle of separation of powers.
The unconstitutional and void acts include premature pooling of funds that are not in reality savings, the cross-border transfer of funds to augment the appropriation of other offices outside the Executive Branch, funding of projects that are not covered by the GAA and the use of unprogrammed funds.
II. President Aquino committed the impeachable offense of betrayal of public trust through the following acts:
(a) By perpetuating and exacerbating the corruption-ridden and patronage-driven system of pork barrel when he created a new and bigger presidential pork barrel through DAP, illegally centralizing P144 Billion in public funds and rechanneling them to his pet projects and favored politicians such as the P17.3 billion additional pork for lawmakers, P6.5 billion additional pork for LGUs, and local projects such as the P2 billion roadworks in his home province on Tarlac;
(b) By committing tyrannical abuse of power when he usurped the Legislature’s power of the purse in violation of Sections 29(1) and 25(5) Article VI of the 1987 Constitution;
(c) By violating his oath of office to faithfully and conscientiously fulfill his duties, preserve and defend the Constitution and execute the laws when he violated the Constitution, the General Appropriations Act and the Revised Penal Code;
(d) By perpetrating at least 116 counts of the crime of technical malversation;
(e) By committing the crime of corruption of public officials when he approved the release of additional billions of pork barrel projects to senator-judges to unduly influence the impeachment trial against former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
On the good faith defense. President Aquino cannot invoke or feign good faith or regularity of his acts since he created, implemented, and defended the DAP and all unconstitutional acts under it. He approved, ordered and committed the acts and practices declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. His 12 years of experience as part of the governmental branch with the sole power of appropriation negates any pretension that he does not know the legal implications of his actions.
President Aquino cannot invoke the Revised Administrative Code as a justification for the legality of the DAP. Section 39 of the Revised Administrative Code is completely repugnant to the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land and was effectively repealed in the Supreme Court in the Demetria ruling.
Contrary to the myth that President Aquino makes us want to believe, DAP is not beneficial to the economy. These “economic benefits” were only alleged by President Aquino but also been proven false by various studies. DAP is essentially presidential pork barrel and can never be beneficial to the poor and the economy.
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) assisted complainants in preparation of this impeachment complaint.
Here is the impeachment complaint