The House of Representatives committee on justice, voting 42-8, junked the impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for being insufficient in substance. While the outcome was not unexpected, it’s infuriating just the same. Not only in the cavalier manner by which the committee railroaded the dismissal but because among all the impeachment raps (four so far) brought againt GMA, this was the most detailed in terms of corruption, electoral fraud, human rights abuses and other acts constituting culpable violations of the Constitution. To have it thrown out immediately without the issues having been given even a perfuncory chance to be aired is an insult to all who had placed their faith, misplaced as it turns out, on constitutional processes.
In speaking out against the impeachment complaint, turncoat progressive Albay Representative Edcel Lagman called the charges against GMA “rehashed and recycled” and “bereft of ultimate facts, which would show the culpability” of Mrs. Arroyo. Wrong. The charges brought against GMA were never properly considered previously, as the same were just as hastily dismissed during past years. Moreover, new controversies were disclosed by the ousted former Speaker of the House, Joe De Venecia, who found himself sitting on the other side of the fence this time around. These were certainly not “rehashed”.
As many suspected, the thwarting of the intervention move which sought to include the unconstitutionality of the BJE MOA in the impeachable offenses against Arroyo was just a prelude to the scrapping of the main complaint.
The battle now shifts to opposing plans by Arroyo and her minions to amend the Constitution to extend her hold on power.