Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Justice Committee Dismisses Second Impeachment Complaint Against Pres. Arroyo
oting 56-24 along party lines, the House Justice committee has just dismissed the second impeachment complaint filed against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in one year--for insufficiency of substance. Salacnib Baterina, debating against the impeachment complaint, seemed to put an early nail on the second impeachement's coffin by revealing an apparently true insufficiency of substance in SOME of the causes of action contained in the Complaint, namely the matter of unsolved political killings. He observes that vague generalities do not constitute a substantial connection between the President and any given instance of unsolved murder. House Speaker Jose de Venecia immediately predicted a similar outcome in the House Plenary vote that will be taken as soon as the Committee report is completed. (I know what he actually means, but if you took him literally and assumed a 56:24 proportion in the final plenary tally, that would reverse the justice committee's recommendation under the One Third Rule.) Minority Leader Chiz Escudero was graceful in defeat. Theoretically the Opposition in Congress still has 2007, 2008, and 2009 to impeach her. Indeed, all early indications are that (1) the Senate will become decidedly Opposition in the 2007 national Senatorial elections; and (2) it is not unimaginable that more than 80 House Members will be Opposition by 2007. But it has to be done the old fashioned way...it must be earned in the elections of 2007. Surely, the Opposition can rise to the challenge of voting into office the required number for impeachment in the House of Representatives and virtually certain conviction in the 2007 Senate.