House panel says 3 impeach raps vs. PNoy ‘sufficient in form’
The committee initially voted 51-1-1 to amend the first impeachment complaint before it was approved. Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas, the head of the panel, said minor details "won't affect the validity of complaint as of form."
The panel eventually approved it via a 53-1-1 vote.
The second impeachment complaint, which was also filed in connection with Aquino's implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), was deemed sufficient in form, with the panel voting 42-7 with 4 abstentions, the report said.
The third impeachment complaint, which was filed on July 24 in connection with the Philippines-United States Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), was declared sufficient in form without any objection.
The complaints were filed against Aquino for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, among other charges.
The Supreme Court in July declared the administration's economic stimulus program DAP partially unconstitutional. The EDCA, which allows increased US military presence in the country, is also being questioned in the high tribunal.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez tried to bar the approval of the second complaint, saying there were problems in the identification of the complainants, a similar problem pointed out in the endorsement resolution of the first impeachment complaint.
Deliberations over the sufficiency in substance of all three complaints will be held on September 2, Tuesday.
Later in the day, Malacañang said it respects the House panel's decision to move forward with the three impeachment complaints against the President.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace is prepared to face whatever decision will be reached by the House justice panel regarding the substance of the impeachment complaints.
Under the rules, a simple majority of the committee membership will be enough to find each complaint sufficient in substance. With 54 committee members, each complaint will need 28 votes.