House ‘kills’ impeach move against Aquino

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Rep. Niel Tupas, Jr. (seated, 2nd from right), chairman of the justice committee, gestures as he trades arguments with congressmen during heated deliberations on the impeachment complaints filed against president benigno aquino 3rd. Photo By Miguel De guzMan

THE House of Representatives on Tuesday threw out the three impeachment complaints filed against President Benigno Aquino 3rd, freeing the President from facing another impeachment complaint at least for a year.

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The House justice committee, which is dominated by allies of the President, found the complaints against Aquino insufficient in substance. The voting was 54-4.

Two of the three complaints stemmed from the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which was outlawed by the Supreme Court in July. The third complaint involves the Philippines’ Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States.

Several lawmakers said the panel’s ruling virtually killed the impeachment complaints.

“The vote of insufficiency of substance effectively saves the President from any further threat of impeachment for another year as provided for by the Constitution,” a statement issued by the House said.

Under the law, no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.

Rep. Sherwin Tugna of Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list said the impeachment complaints are deemed dismissed.

“Dismissal is equivalent to its end,” Tugna told The Manila Times in a text message.

The justice panel’s ruling enraged members of the Makabayan bloc that endorsed the impeachment complaints. The group, composed of legislators from the party-list groups Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Kabataan and Anakpawis, maintained that the President should be impeached for corruption.

“By nipping the impeachment proceeding at its bud, the committee on justice has once again kowtowed to the whims of the emerging dictator. Laugh while you can, Mr. Aquino, but this is not the last time you’ll hear from us. The fight against the yellow dictatorship will continue in the parliament of the streets. There, I assure you, Mr. Aquino, you don’t control the numbers,” Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon fumed.

“Congress has played blind, deaf and mute to the clamor of the Filipino people for justice and accountability against a budding budget dictator. Legislators were given a choice today, to vote for what is right and what is convenient. Despite presenting clear arguments and a substantial recital of facts, they still opted for the latter,” he added.

The justice panel will make a report on its decision to junk the impeachment complaints before submitting it to plenary. The plenary can overturn the report with a majority vote, but this is unlikely considering the overwhelming vote against the President’s ouster, according to Rep. Elpidio Barzaga.

In order to overturn the justice panel’s ruling, a one-third vote of all the members of the House of Representatives is needed. The House currently has 290 members, making 97 the “magic number” to reverse the voting.

“But if the outcome of the vote on the sufficiency of substance, 54 against 4 would be the indicator of the voting in the plenary, then it would be safe to say that the Makabayan group would not be able to muster the one-third vote. Hence I would say that the three impeachment complaints against the President are already a dead because and the voting in the plenary will just be a formality and would be the final nail to the coffin, so to speak,” Barzaga said.

Malacanang welcomed the panel’s ruling.

“The committee on justice of the House, after a thorough review of the allegations in terms of its substance, has dismissed the complaints against the President,” Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte told media in a statement. “We take note that the process took place with transparency, not just according to the rules, but to give the proponents every opportunity to make their case,” she said.

Rep. Niel Tupas, Jr., chairman of the justice committee, said the ruling reflects the stand of the majority in the House of Representatives.

“The pulse here is the reflection of the sentiment of the entire House [of Representatives]. We allowed four hours of debate and all the opportunities [to speak]were given to the endorsers. Walang laman yung complaints [The complaints are empty]. It is hard to force it if the complaints are really empty,” Tupas said.

It was Rep. Romero Quimbo of Marikina City (Metro Manila) who first called the complaints empty.

“The past Presidents have been mobilizing the generated [government]savings. It has been clear that it was allowed, until the Supreme Court decided that it is not, although there is no finality on such decision yet. Culpa means willful. Has the President stolen the DAP money? Has the President pocketed the money? Are there [pieces of evidence]to prove that he used [this]money to build a number of houses and accumulated millions in his bank accounts like in the case of the President we previously impeached?” Quimbo said, obviously referring to former President Joseph Estrada.

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13 Comments

  1. kung sa akala nyo naloko nyo ang taong bayan, hello? expected na ganyan
    ang kahinatnan ng Drama ninyo. Si Tong tupas, sinayang mo pagkaka-taon
    na kumampi ka sa bayan at sa bansa mo, mas pinakilala mo sa taong
    bayan ano kang klaseng Pilipino, anak ka ng DAP o mang hoholdap sa
    kaban ng bayan. Kitang kita sa ginawa ninyo na miniDrama, ang malaking
    kaibahan ng Corona Impeachment sa abnormal Impeachment. Sa Corona
    may hinatag na bilyones si hari ng Dap/Pdaf, kayat’ dali dali nagsipirma
    ang mga ganid na Tongresmen sa ginawang impeachment charge na
    hangga sa oras ng pagpirma hindi alam ng mga tong ano ang kasalanan
    ni Corona, madami akusasyon na kinuha sa langit, nauwi sa isa na inabot
    daw sa dakilang tong nasi umali ng little lady ang saln.samakatwid wala
    ebidensiya matibay ng nagsipirma ang mga tulisan at naiabot lang ng
    nag hihearing na.
    Sa abnormal impeachment kitang kita ang ebidensiya sa mga dokumento
    at pahiwatig ng sinasakdal, na sa tulong ni DBM Sec A Bad, minagic nila
    ang pera o budget ng bayan at nakita rin na ipinangsuhol sa mga tong
    at Senatong para pumirma sa impeachment ni Corona at mahatulang guilty
    ng mga Senatong. Sa linaw ng ebidensiya hindi na at wala ng hahanapin
    pa, kaya nga lang paano nila iimpeach si abnormal na sila mismo ang
    kasabwat sa napakalaking krimeng ginawa at ginagawa pa. Saka walang
    naghatag ng Bilyones para sila pumirma.
    DIYOS na
    makapangyarihan, isalba mo po sana ang bayang ito sa mga buwitre na
    bumihag sa bayan mo na pinaglagakan mo sa amin.

  2. Bobski Natividad on

    I have noticed that this guy Ridon always makes waves, I believe he has hidden agendas of his own.

  3. Impeachment is an exercise based on numbers hence the result was expected before the votes were counted. Lawmakers should stop this impeachment brouhaha and focus on lawmaking for the benefit of the Filipino people.

    • focus on lawmaking? so far the officials of our country even without the impeachment has not done any law favorable to the poor to alleviate their conditions. If any, it is only in a piece of paper because the money goes elsewhere or everywhere except to the poor.

  4. rosendo bagtas on

    inaasahan ng sambayanan itong desisyon ng house of representatives, kung saan mayoriya ang nakatanggap ng political largesse mula sa malakanyang, sa 3 impeachment complaint laban kay PNoy. ngayun, sino ang mey sabi ng Abnoy si Pnoy? maliwanag at malinaw ang kanyang tuso, talino, at mahika sa paggamit ng kanyang poder para lasunin at pakilusin ang kanyang mga alepores sa mababang kapulungan. kasing sama ito sa kanyang lantarang paglabag sa saligang bastas, pandarambong ng kabang bayan, at pag-uto ng mga lider politikal sa ibat-ibang local government units upang ma-impeach sina CJ corona, ombudsman gutierrez, at pagtuligsa kay dating PGMA. maliban sa 3 senador na nakapiit na ngayun, nakatoon si PNoy sa pagpapabagsak kay VP Binay. ito ba ay isang larawan ng isang Abnoy? Magising kayo, taumbayan!

  5. Itong si Niel Tupas at Romero Quimbo, para bagang napakalilinis ng mga ito kung magsalita. Ala-eh!, dapat ay i-abolish na ang Kongreso at nang mawala na mga baboy, buaya at mga tsonggo sa Upper at Lower Houses.

    • I very much agree with you! itong 2 ito hindi naman malinis mga yan, saying, kala ko pa naman at mga baguhan, gagawa sila ng bago para umahon naman ang bansa. Wala din, lalong kurakot at illegalities ang ginagawa. harap harapan na pag loko sa taong bayan.