Thursday, November 27, 2008

Junking the Impeachment Complaint

11.00 am, November 26, 2008.

Rep. Satur Ocampo asks the House Committee on Justice not to dismiss the issues presented by the impeachment complaint.

Rep. Risa Baraquel thanks Rep. Defensor for finally calling on her, that she is no longer "invisible." She insists that documents that would prove the President's culpability in the ZTE-NBN contract should not be grounds for the committee finding the impeachment complaint insufficient. The Rules of Impeachment of the 14th Congress says that the impeachment need only allege facts and hard evidence is not needed at this stage.

Rep. Casino says he is not new to the impeachment process. He states it is a political, not a juridical process. "We will not be judged as judges...but as representatives of the people...Mahirap magreklamo laban sa presidente...and it takes a lot of guts...Yan po ba ay lulunurin natin sa legalismo?"

Rep. Casino then says that during the Erap case, the most damning of evidences came during the hearing in Senate, not during the discussion of substance and form. "Ano po ba ang kinakatakot natin?" He asks whether the committee members are afraid of implicating themselves for accepting bribes from Malacanang.

Rep. Guingona asks that the committee give the impeachment complaint a chance. He questions whether the Congressmen who were rumoured to again have received money in Linden Suites were also present in the committee. He then unveils a timeline of a master plan that would lead to Martial Law. Junking the impeachment complaint is but the first step. Next Tuesday it will be dismissed in the plenary. On Wednesday Congressmen will then hie off to the United States to watch the Manny Pacquiao fight, and also to cool off. When they come back, then charter change will come into full gear.

Rep. Maza again motioned to have Kampi party members be disallowed from voting on the substance of the complaint - especially those who received money in 2007 and the recent "pamumudmod ng pera." Rep. Defensor asked to have the body vote on Rep Maza's appeal - summarily denied with resounding "ayes."

Rep. Mariano asked to have these committee members be disqualified. He then insisted on reading out loud the 22 members who received money from the President's party. Defensor insisted it would be unparliamentary.

Rep. Casino then says the committee members are not only mute and deaf, but also blind.

Motion to dismiss the impeachment complaint - 42 in favour versus 8.

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