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Dying ambition of the opposition to bring down President Arroyo
« on: November 21, 2017, 03:46:07 PM »
Commentary: Fundamental constitutional requirements of an impeachment
By Henry S. Lagasca
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union (31 August 2005) -- The dying ambition of the opposition to bring down President Arroyo at all cost is on issue here.

Pro-impeachment congressmen resorted to a walkout as part of their planned tantrum to prepare the minds of the public and perhaps, agitate towards a street-parliament scenario outside the impeachment process and outside the procedures provided by law.

The walkout, it seems, was staged by the anti-Gloria lawmakers who failed to muster enough endorsers for the impeachment complaint and defend its case before the House committee on justice chaired by Rep. Simeon Datumanong.. As of this writing, 49 congressmen have signed the amended impeachment complaint against President Arroyo, the latest of which is Rep. Cynthia Villar of Las Pinas.

The impeachment complaint accuses the President of betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution and bribery and graft and corruption. The justice committee is hearing both sides on whether all three impeachment complaints, the first filed by lawyer Oliver Lozano and subsequently amended and another two complaints filed by opposition congressmen or the consolidation of all three into a single impeachment complaint be given due course. However, the pro-impeachment congressmen walked out during the hearing following heated debates over which of the three complaints should be given preference.

Responsible behaviour should be observed by both sides in arguing their case rather than, in the case of the opposition, tossing documents into the air. Those who seek the ouster of an impeachable official, this time the President of the republic, must come fully prepared for it. An impeachment case must be backed by concrete and tangible pieces of evidence rather than imaginable accusation by the so-called whistle blowers and the disgruntled members of the Hyatt 10 who have the propensity to cry in front of TV cameras.

Legal processes dictate that there must be a verified impeachment complaint, the complaint must have enough signatures so it can be sent to the Senate, or having failed to do so, it must be endorsed by the plenary for trial. What is important is that the impeachment complaint must be credible. This is the responsibility of the opposition.

So far these fundamental constitutional processes have not been fulfilled. It is even possible now for a complaint to be dismissed before it reaches the Senate. If the impeachment complaint against President Arroyo “dies the natural way” due to lack of signatures, it is really the opposition who will kill their own impeachment complaint. The opposition has no one else to blame if the process grinds to a halt. (PIA Ilocos)

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