JUSTICE Sec. Leila de Lima did not only come to the defense of President Benigno Aquino III, but also she belittled the impeachment complaints filed against him.
“Baseless” was how she described the impeachment complaints against the president over the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the US and the Philippines.
“As a lawyer, and not only as a member of the official family of the president, I can say that the impeachment complaints do not have enough basis,” said de Lima at the sidelines of the centennial anniversary of North Cotabato province.
She noted that the implementation of DAP by the Office of the President does not equate to culpable violation of public trust and violation of the Constitution.
“The President has repeatedly explained DAP. How can something that benefited the people and the country in terms of economic upliftment, how can there be a culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust?” de Lima said.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate called de Lima’s defense as a proof of her blind loyalty and sycophancy to the administration — something propelled by “her ambition to become a senator or a member of the Supreme Court.”
“It’s understandable for her to come out to the defense of Aquino,” said Zarate. “We respect her opinion on these things, but we could only hope that she slow down for a bit because she is a public lawyer.”
Zarate said de Lima should be careful about giving her statements on the cases being faced by President Aquino.
“She is entitled to her own opinion, but she has to be very careful. She is the secretary of justice, therefore she has to balance things before giving out statements that could impact the public’s perception,” Zarate said.
Zarate also noted that the claim that DAP has benefited the country and the Filipinos is highly disputable.
“If it is indeed true that DAP was an economic stimulus program, then why many Filipinos continue to be poor?” Zarate pointed out. | JMT, NewsDesk