BY PRINCE GOLEZ
MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III enjoys immunity against all legal suits, said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma Jr.
Coloma was reacting to the libel lawsuit filed last week by former Ilonggo congressman Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco Jr. in connection with the President’s 2013 State of the Nation Address (SONA).
He also said they have “no info” as regards the letters Syjuco supposedly sent to President Aquino.
If Syjuco were to be believed, the presidential immunity from suit in the Marcos-era “martial law constitution” was already removed.
It is no longer present in the “Cory Constitution” of 1987, he told Panay News.
In his 2013 SONA, the President mentioned the alleged overpricing in the equipment purchases of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Although the Chief Executive did not categorically identify Syjuco, the former TESDA chief felt alluded to.
The President said TESDA purchased an overpriced incubator jar at P15,375 and a dough cutter at P48,507.
The incubator jar should have only cost P149 each while the dough cutter, P120, Aquino said.
Syjuco, however, denied he approve said purchases.
He didn’t order any payment for the equipment following reports of overprice, he said.
Syjuco said it took him “10 months and seven days” to charge President Aquino with the crime of libel because he was expecting his letters “would make him see the light.”
Syjuco claimed to have written President Aquino six letters between 2010 and 2012./PN