Aquino ready to face impeachment complaint
President Benigno S. Aquino III does not regret his meeting with Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and is even ready to face any impeachment complaint for it, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Herminio Coloma Jr., head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, asserted that the President did not meddle with impeachment trial of Corona when he met with Revilla in his residence back in 2012.
Coloma explained that the President merely asked Revilla to decide on the merits of the case, which the Palace official claimed was within Aquino’s mandate as a political leader.
“Sa maraming pagkakataon, tinanong ang ating Pangulo tungkol sa posibilidad ng impeachment, parating sinasagot ng pangulo ay handa naman siyang harapin kung ito man ay ihahahain ng miyembro ng kongreso [In many occasions, the President has been asked about the possibility of impeachment. He has always said he is ready to face this in case it is initiated by the members of Congress],” Coloma said in a Palace press briefing.
Asked if an impeachment complaint against the President would prosper, Coloma said it is up to the lawmakers to make such decision in deference to the separate and co-equal branch of government.
When asked if the President regrets that he met Revilla prior to the impeachment vote against Corona, Coloma said: “Hindi [No].”
Coloma instead hit back at Revilla for trying to divert public attention away from the “real issue” of proper use of public funds. He said Revilla’s privilege speech could have been a good opportunity to respond to the public’s clamor for full explanation on how he spent his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2007 to 2009.
Revilla recently denied any involvement in the alleged misuse of the PDAF and instead accused the President of meddling with Corona’s trial a few years ago. The senator claimed that he was driven by Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas to Bahay Pangarap where Aquino supposedly tried to convince him to impeach Corona.
Coloma however maintained that there was nothing irregular with Aquino’s meeting with Revilla in his residence.