MANILA (Mabuhay) — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Wednesday said President Benigno Aquino III can be impeached for approving the creation and use of the Disbursement Acceleration Program, although she immediately acknowledged that his allies have the numbers to fend off any bid.
“Let’s assume there is a circular for the sake of argument, and the President can be impeached, definitely yes in a theoretical way. But you know, impeachment is both a legal and political topic and you cannot separate one from the other,” Santiago said at a press conference at the Senate, a day after the Supreme Court declared key provisions of the DAP unconstitutional.
“Now if you are asking me if he can be impeached, definitely. But can he be impeached in reality, meaning you have to count, you have to have votes … as you know, you need enough votes to raise it to a committee, to the plenary and so on,” she added.
Nevertheless, Santiago said Aquino’s critics would be justified in trying to impeach him.
“I (don’t) think it’s bound to pay off, but I will not blame them (for the) attempt, to test the water, and to float a trial balloon because it is a violation of the Constitution, as the Supreme Court has already said,” she said.
In a related development, Kabataan party-list Representative Terry Ridon, who broached the possibility of impeaching Aquino soon after the high court issued its DAP ruling, slammed administration allies for “blindly defending a president who clearly violated the Constitution” and for “failing to see Aquino’s culpability.”
He also claimed that Aquino, “silent but apparently flustered,” undertook a “quick loyalty check last night (Tuesday) among his allies in Congress.”
Ridon cited the statements of Aquino’s allies in the wake of the DAP ruling.
“The common thread that ran in the statements of the administration allies is that they are confident that any attempt to impeach the president will not hold water, since they practically control Congress,” he said. (MNS)