Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Notes on the Impeachment Vote

I spent last night and the entire morning till noon today listening to the speeches of the congressmen as they explained their votes on the Justice Committee recommendation to dismiss the amended Lozano complaint and the Lopez complaint under the one-year bar rule and the original Lozano complaint for lack of substance. I have really given the Opposition no chance at all to get this past the House Plenary. But I watched the show, and I must say I am pleased with what I’ve seen.

Cheez Escudero and Alan Cayetano did a fine job interpellating Congressman Villafuerte who looked really idiotic juggling those papers and making up excuses for bungled citations and cluttered reasoning. I still don’t know where Edcel Lagman got his silly doctrine that a complaint signed by a lawyer is already verified. Verification must show that verifier had the competence to know the facts he is verifying. As a matter of fact, the verification must state that the verifier knows the facts of his own personal knowledge. In the case of Lozano’s complaint, he cannot possible say that he knew the facts of the impeachment of his own personal knowledge, because the allegation of election fraud was based largely on the Garci Tapes. He did not have personal knowledge of the fact of cheating in the elections. So how can we say that just by signing the complaint, Atty. Lozano has already verified his complaint on the basis of his lawyer’s oath? Silly.

And this restrictive interpretation of the one year bar rule that the first complaint to be filed, even when Congress is not in session, bars all other impeachment complaints is the craziest idea I’ve ever heard. As my good friend Atty. Punzi said, it leaves the power to impeach the President to the receiving clerk, because the first complaint she receives in a year will be the only one considered for the year. I bet you after this episode we can expect Congressman Pichay to file an impeachment complaint against the President everyday, which ensures that the President will not be legitimately impeached in perpetuity. Crazy idea.

I must say some of the speeches moved me. Rep. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel regretted that that Congress couldn’t be part of the process of reforming politics in the country. Rep. Rey Magtubo delivered a damning speech about his years in the house. Rep. Darlene Antonino Custodio made an early morning plea to the D.O.M.’s in the house “Can you feel our pain?” That made my hair stand. Dudut Jaworski's speech on the youth vote was noteworthy. And JDV revealed why the House had to kill the impeachment right there and then: the Senate cannot be trusted to give Arroyo a fair trial. Gotcha old man. That is the reason for all this farce. Why did you have to make Lagman and Villafuerte make a fool of themselves? Stop pretending that the Congress is bastion of reason, for the truth is it is the house of greed and self-interest. That much we already know.

But I’m proud of the young congressmen Cheez, Alan, Edmund Reyes, and Abaya. This fight is too big for them, so they lost it. But a good fight is also its own reward. Their time will come. I just hope that they won’t let the system get into them. For when the next Gloria Arroyo type becomes president and her dogs are too old to be around, we know we have these kids to hold the fort. Bravo.

Let’s hope that all those ugly, smelly (mga amoy lupa!), pot-bellied old-timers in the House who represent the worst of our politicians will retire soon.

10 comments:

Punzi said...

Pards, you forgot: "with ill-fitting hair pieces"...

Atty. Murla said...

Sir, correct me if im wrong but i think that the impeachment is doomed to fail at the very start because the oppositions does not have a common stand.They try to accomodate several grounds including election fraud in the impeachment case but isn't it that the congress does not have jurisdiction over election fraud? And secondly, in the Aguinaldo case, the subsequent re-election of Aguinaldo obliterated all pending administartive case against him because the people have already spoken.

Mark Guzman said...

Sir, is it true that even if the impeachment pushed-through, the same cannot impeach GMA since the allegation of Atty. Lozano in his complaint does not constitute an offense? Meaning, even if GMA admitted all the allegations in the complaint, same cannot hold GMA liable because in the first place the allegation in itself is incomplete to warrant or justify the impeachment of GMA and as a consequence, such complaint is vulnerable to quashal or dismissal?

Mr. Johnson Bondad said...

Sir, i agree with you that their interpretation of the one year bar rule is a crazy idea and an absurd interpretation as well. Sir, I just want to ask, if there is any provision or rule which specifically provides for the one year bar rule? Because I believe that having a specific rule regarding the one year bar rule is a must. We need to be enlightened in the interpretation of such.

Atty. Manuel x2 said...

Sir, could Atty. Lozano still file before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal a complaint for electoral fraud against GMA? or, the dismissal of his complaint before the House of Representatives bars the subsequent filing of the same in another tribunal?

marvin said...

Atty. Murla,

Thank you for your comment.

You sound like a former student of mine. Are you the same Atty. Murla I know? Anyway, the impeachable offense is betrayal of public trust through election fraud, etc. THis is not an electoral protest, it's an impeachment. An electoral protest can in fact co-exist with an impeachment case. On the application of the Aguinaldo ruling, GMA's election is in serious doubt. How can you say that the people have spoken? The people's voice have in fact been muffled, as it were.

Mark Guzman,

Thank you for your comment.

Tipong kayang kaya ba sa Motion to dismiss? Alan Cayetano did a fine powerpoint presentation on the case. It didn't sound like it could be shot down by a mere motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to state a cause of action. Besides, the original complaint referred to the Garci tapes. If GMA admitted all that was said in the Garci Tapes,she could even get the death penalty. I'm referring to the kidnapping of the family of a COMELEC official in Tipi-Tipo to pressure her to allow the cheating. Grabe. Siya ang Presidente, siya pa nagpagawa noon.



Jason,

Thank you for your comment.

The rules on the impeachment are exclusively the province of Congress. Sila sila lang gumawa. They could in fact make a rule that the receiving clerk can only accept one impeachment case per official per year. Pagkatapos sarado na tindahan. Pwede yun under their crazy interpretation.


Atty. Manuel,

Thank you for your comment.

Atty. Lozano has no personality to file an election protest. Besides, it's too late.

PUnzi,

oo nga malaglag sana mga wig nila.

Marvin

Anonymous said...

Lagman performed the abortion. The baby was not meant to see the light of day.

Sayang it was a strong and healthy baby pa naman.

Maybe that's why Lagman thought it best to abort it.

el che said...

Cong. Abaya is a recent graduate from your alma mater in case you didnt know. He also used to be part of the military establishment. And he made that vote amidst pressure from family and friends. Too bad the military lost a great man to Congress, only to be surrounded (and outvoted) by crocodiles:)

What did Darlene say? I hear she isn't very "equipped" up there, but she is just to pretty to ignore haha.

marvin said...

El Che

I met Cong. Abaya in a little talk I had before the elections on Sun Tzu in election campaigns. He is a fine young man whose heart is in the right place.

On Cong. Darlene. please no sexist remarks on this blog.

Marvin

el che said...

ooops. re: my remark re: Darlene Custodio, when I said "up there" I meant further up, aka brains:) Didn't mean to make it sound sexist:)