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Philippines: Arroyo's “Third” Impeachment Complaint

Coming at the heels of the controversial National Broadband Network contract with Chinese firm ZTE, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Friday (Oct. 6) was slapped an impeachment complaint before the House of Representatives.

The political opposition and the broad anti-Arroyo movement should be rejoicing over it but nobody among the groups has owned up the cause. Manuel L. Quezon III swiftly sees it and says the filing of the complaint and the President's issuance of a statement while on a trip in India was “perfectly orchestrated and timed”.

It's a sham, says Magdalo para sa Pagbabago and goes on to explain why:

The impeachment complaint filed by Atty. Roel Pulido against Gloria Arroyo last Friday was a big joke. First, the complaint was very week with lots of loopholes to ensure it will loose in a legal forum. Second, it was filed prematurely without consultation from concerned sectors/individuals who were already involved in the struggle for truth since 2005 (Such as the Church, business groups, political opposition, civil society, etc). Third, the word is out that Atty. Pulido had talks with Malacanang before he dropped the Magdalo officers as their counsel. He is currently a staff of Sen Honasan.

It is so obvious that they are trying to sabotage the possibility of any legitimate impeachment complaint being filed against GMA. This tactic is no different from the stunt of Atty Lozano last 2005 & 2006. This is a very suspicious impeachment complaint thus I call on all patriotic Filipinos to be watchful and remain vigilant.

Ellen Tordesillas, an Arroyo critic in the media and the blogosphere, is suspicious and cites her reasons.

The president expectedly “pooh-poohs” the complaint which a member of Congress described as being “designed to fail and not worth the paper it was printed on”.

The House meanwhile is shocked over news that certain persons connected with the Palace tried to bribe oppositionist congressmen into signing the Pulido impeachment complaint. By Tuesday (Oct. 9), Anakpawis (Toiling Masses Representative Crispin Beltran comes out with the name of Francis Ver, deputy secretary-general of President Arroyo's party Kampi, as the person who tried to buy his signature for two million pesos.

The Arroyo camp's transparent effort to vaccinate the President from a legit impeachment complaint is not lost on The Lonely Vampire Chronicles who argues that the constitutional weapon to hold high officials accountable — impeachment — is “broken” and “needs to be fixed”:

Anyway, as much as I want Arroyo impeached, the chances for such is much closer to nil than in 2005. With the impeachment reduced to a game, and with Arroyo having the numbers at the Lower House, pardon me if I am very much skeptical of the process. Now, if Arroyo pushes the wrong buttons, I might reconsider. Like, pulling the rug off the Speaker’s feet. Or, a strong clamor from all parts of the society (in your dreams).

Yes, the process is broken, and it needs to be fixed.

Taking a dig at Pulido, the erstwhile lawyer of anti-Arroyo soldiers who later fired him as counsel, uniffors baptized him with a new first name. Instead of calling him Roel Pulido, the blog dubs him Oliver Pulido in an obvious reference to Oliver Lozano who filed a similarly weak and much-maligned impeachment complaint in 2006.

Whatever the motive of Pulido and pro-Arroyo Rep. Edgar San Luis (the congressman who endorsed the complaint as required by the Constitution and the House impeachment rules), Snippets says it only means one thing:

Anyway, the actions of the administration simply points out to one thing: di pa rin nawawala ang shaky ground nila [they still stand on shaky ground]. To consider: ex-Commissioner Ben Abalos might still spill more beans. Unless he flies away. Who knows?

The impeachment complaint needs to muster signatures of at least 80 congressmen for it to be transmitted to the Senate for trial.

To know more about the impeachment process in the Philippines, you may refer to the Rules on Impeachment of the House of Representatives, Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Trials in the Senate, and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism team blog for an archive on the two previous impeachment complaints against Arroyo.

1 comment

  • Louie Mayor

    Can’t Congress simply condemn Mr. San Luis’s endorsement on moral grounds? His endorsement is a mockery of our laws and our constitution. I don’t think we need to revise any laws or rules–we just need to replace our leaders with honorable people or at least those who are do not blatantly desecrate what should be considered sacred in a land supposedly ruled by law.

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