MANILA (Mabuhay) – House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora has opted not to back the impeachment of President Benigno Aquino III, citing among other reasons, his scheduled kidney transplant because of his failing kidneys.
Zamora will go under the knife on August 19, 2014. He told reporters that his kidneys are failing so he looked for donors early on.
“I’m going through surgery. It will take me out for a month. I have a date. With my surgeons, it will be next month. That’s when everything come out for impeachment, budget, Bangsamoro. These are things I don’t want to miss,” he said.
But before this, Zamora intends to deliver a Kontra-SONA or a rebuttal speech to the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Zamora’s kidney transplant is partly why he won’t be supporting the impeachment complaints against Aquino that were filed by his colleagues in the minority bloc.
“I have a personal problem. I will be absent from the House. I don’t want to be just signing an impeachment complaint forgetting I should be paying real attention to that. These are important reasons. My colleagues feel differently. Let’s see how the President or chosen defenders will defend himself,” he said.
Zamora, however, concedes these issues have cast a shadow over the President’s SONA.
“Makabayan group informed me they were going to file impeachment cases. They laid down basis. I have told them I agree in many parts, but I was not prepared to sign.”
He feels the impeachment cases distract them from what they should be paying attention to.
For instance, Zamora said attention must be focused on holding all concerned accountable for the misuse of public funds.
“Go after numbers of people mentioned in so many instances coming from Congress, Senate, even from LGUs (local government units). Why don’t you go after them and show in this country you’re prepared to go after friend and foe alike. Impeachment maybe a little premature. You’re ignoring large problems we still have. Growth rates we were so proud of are starting to come down. Impeachment will distract attention from these important issues,” he said.
Zamora is confident though that his non-support for the impeachment will not divide his bloc.
“We’re not splitting apart because of this. We will show that in the budget debates.”
Earlier this week, Makabayan bloc congressmen endorsed three separate impeachment complaints against Aquino over the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
The Makabayan bloc has seven congressmen in Zamora’s minority bloc.(MNS)