Tag Archives: impeachment complaint

The Blackest Day

This day may turn out to be the blackest day in Philippine history. Today, the House Committee on Justice committed a grave injustice to the Filipino People by killing the impeachment complaint against Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Voting 42 to 8, members of Gloria’s political party defeated the minority led by Cong. Ronnie Zamora who did every legal option just for the impeachment complaint to pass to the committee level and start the trial. It seems that Gloria’s allies don’t want these oppositors to even reach second base and have the opportunity to present damning evidence against this regime.

In an interview, Zamora said that he’s tired of doing this impeachment. For him, this is the second time that he sponsored the impeachment complaint. And twice, it was rebuffed. The majority used the tyranny of numbers to repulse the most serious legal denunciation against Gloria.

Victims of human rights abuses booed the committee members for allowing themselves to be used by Gloria. Congresswoman Liza Masa revealed what transpired the day prior to the hearing. She said that media reports exposed an alleged meeting by KAMPI and some Lakas members in Linden Suites austensibly a meeting where members of the Committee were given half a million pesos just to kill the impeachment. As early as 5 in the evening, journalists got texts saying that a Malacanang operator called up some Congressmen to give them their early November presents.

Yet, even if this did not occur (although Committee chair Matias Defensor in an interview, admitted having been called by someone about the meeting), Congressmen are sure to kill the impeachment because this is the time where the budget is to be given to their legislative districts. No one in his right doggie mind would try to alienate himself from the powers that be, short of risking the budget for his district.

So, that brave challenge by Joey de Venecia III is as doomed as hell. It was not designed to fail yet it was destined to fall by the sharp sword of the president’s allies.

By the way friends, here’s the statement of Joey about this blackest day in Philippine history:

STATEMENT OF JOEY DE VENECIA III
DISMISSAL OF IMPEACHMENT CASE
DUE TO INSUFFICIENCY OF SUBSTANCE
November 26, 2008

This is a sad day not only for us the complainants and the minority lawmakers, but more so for the Filipino people. Our right to take President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to task has again been taken away from us.

As our minority lawmakers have said repeatedly, this process is a way to let government show the transparency that the Constitution mandates.

The impeachment process is the proper and legal forum to let the people know what is happening and to allow the government and its officials to explain themselves.

It appears that the government would rather that the people take its grievances to the street than offer them a decent and legal forum.

The House Justice Committee might have stopped the impeachment complaint but I assure everyone that the Committee cannot stop us from airing our grievances and allegations in any and all other forums available to us.

We will bring this case straight to the people. We will go to them and talk to them. We will put out into the open what the government would rather keep under the cloak of darkness.

I give my utmost appreciation to all those who supported us in any way. I thank the Filipino people for their sentiments and their prayers.

We will not keep quiet. The fight in the halls of Congress may be over but the real fight for truth and justice goes on.

Updates on the Impeachment from FV

10:00 am House Committee on Justice begins hearing of impeachment complaints against Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. 31 committee members are present.

Rep. Casiño says Rep. Villarosa should be disqualified in the committee hearings as she admitted on record that she distributed bribe money. Committee chair Defensor replies inhibition is voluntary. Rep. Villarosa admits to distributing the money to only 2 representatives – Abante and Dumpit.

Rep. Golez raises a point of order, hearings are too rigorous. He questions why the committee seems to be rushing the proceedings. He wants the justice committee to have a “more reasonable calendar.” Rep. Defensor defends the 4-day marathon.

Rep. Guingona wants to have his resolution to endorse the impeachment complaint be recognized.

Rep. Defensor’s opening statement says the House of Representatives is on trial. Proceedings have to proceed swiftly and should not be motivated by person and political ambitions.

Rep. Mariano of Anakpawis wants to have on record all parties to the complaints.

Rep. Puentevella says the complaints are so voluminous. Which one should be deliberated upon? “Every year this is an annual fiesta…’Wag na tayong mag-utuan ditto.”

Rep. Jala: The complaint is a “mere scrap of paper.” It is insufficient in form and should be dismissed. He says it should not be considered since it violates the rule that there can only be one impeachment complaint filed against an official in a year.

Rep. N. Gonzales says “We are not aware of the Quezon complaint.” The Committee on Rules does not have the authority to add another complaint to the order of business.

Rep. Defensor implies complaints not submitted to the Justice committee should be dismissed.

Rep. Lagman intervenes, the one year ban rule has already expired. It need not be mentioned in the De Venecia complaint since it was submitted on Oct. 13. The one year ban expired on October 11. On this ground, the complaint is sufficient in form.

Rep. Golez: “We are so repressed in the minority. This is what you call the essence of democracy?”

Rep. Domogan insists that only the De Venecia complaint should be considered by the committee, whether it is sufficient in form.
11.30 Recess. Lunch break.

Rep. Liza Maza clarifies whether the Sotto complaint should be excluded. Minority clarifies that the Quezon intervention was referred by the Secretary General to the Justice Committee.

Rep. Antonino-Custodio calls on Rep. Defensor that the Justice Committee already received the intervention. She wants to the committee to consider the intervention and how it should be treated. Should it be accepted as an amendment or supplementary to the De Venecia complaint?

Rep. Defensor is non-committal. He says the committee will consider the Quezon complaint a separate one, violating the one year ban rule.

Rep. Antonino-Custodio calls on Rep. Defensor not to unilaterally make this decision. The matter should be decided upon by the whole body.

Rep. Casiño says he has no copy of the intervention and so he cannot decide on the matter. He calls for the resumption of the hearing tomorrow.

Rep. Antonino-Custodio expressed concern that should the intervention be considered a supplement to the De Venecia complaint, then it will also be dismissed without the committee’s deliberation.

Rep. Golez calls on Defensor’s opening speech, seemingly “in favor of dismissal.”

Rep. Zialcita asks, “How many interventions should we entertain?”

Rep. Puentevella says the minority should get its act together and consolidate only one impeachment complaint.

Rep. Antonino-Custodio says the minority needs time to present the complaint(s) properly.

The majority proposes having only 5 representatives from either group present their sides. Minority representatives all express dissent against limiting only 5 representatives from either side present their case. All minority representatives should be able to speak.

12:15. Hearing adjourned and to be resumed tomorrow.

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

We lost accountability

Have you been asked by your mom to go to the store and buy some suka? I’m sure every one experienced that. You’re given 10 pesos and suka is just 5 pesos a jigger and you give back the sukli, yes? I know everyone experience that.

In government, the people repose trust and confidence to their leader. Elections are the surest guarantee of that trust. Elections give these officials the chance to serve and it serves as a covenant. The laws, meanwhile, serve as terms of reference, a kind of Code that guides everyone on the right conduct in society.

This simple experience of going to the store and buy something and giving back the sukli is what we call “accountability”. When you’re a government official, you need to think that every action that you take requires accountability. You are not doing it for your own benefit. You are doing it for your parents, your grandparents, your wife, your kids and your friends.

A government post is not just a position of responsibility; it is a position of accountability.

IN this administration of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, she and the rest of her gang were given the chance to serve this country. Through taxes, the people express the belief that Mrs. Arroyo would uphold the very pillars by which this country was founded:

Independence

Territorial Integrity

Justice

In a span of eight years, Mrs. Arroyo has nearly destroyed all of these pillars and for what? To make the Filipino  life better? Tell that to the Philippine Marines, Mrs. Arroyo. The very sons and wives of the Marines are suffering. They can’t even get their allowances. They can’t even get loans.

Is the life of the soldier better now than 2001? No. The same old boots. The same tattered clothes. The same old bullets. The same old soggy socks.

How about the worker? Is life better now than 2001? Wage increase, is there any? How about the ability to get loans? Nothing much either there.

What future awaits the Filipino farmer who were deprived of more than 3 billion pesos by a group of greedy and hungry devils masquerading as government officials?

What future awaits the more than 350,000 new graduates next year? How about the more than 7 million able-bodied Pinoys all walking like Zombies along the stretch of Ayala and all other places in the country, finding, desperately looking for jobs?

And what would happen to the more than 2 million people affected by the war in Mindanao? This war which has been raging since the 19th century, has now affected more than 250,000 families. Prior to this year, peace has relatively reigned in that part of the world. But because of higher realpolitik, peace and order has now degenerated.

Who, then, is accountable for all these societal mess?

If this government cannot give us justice, then, let the People show everyone that this Country is still proud of its race.

That the People is not just a bunch of individuals; but a Nation. A proud Nation of People who do not tolerate shady deals, government corruption and immorality of the highest order.

Let those who stole from us be accountable for their actions.

Act now. Stand Up now. Move now. Or it would be too late for us, for our kids, for our future.