Saving the nation

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


THE three impeachment complaints against President Benigno Aquino III were considered “insufficient in substance” by the committee on justice of the House of Representatives and were consequently dismissed by its members by a vote of 54 to 4. The committee thus terminated the debate on the complaints.

During the hearing, House Deputy Speaker Giorgdi Aggabao maintained that the impeachment complaints did not satisfy Section 2 Article 11 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The complaints were filed in July amidst the uproar over the reported presidential misuse of Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds. But culpable violation should be a willful act of the President, which it was not.

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“It is utterly insufficient in substance, and just a piece of paper,” said the Cagayan de Oro member of the House.

The first two complaints were supported by militant youth groups led by a party-list representative who claimed these were “prematurely filed.” The third impeachment complaint was filed “by different militant groups led by former Bayan Muna party-list representative Satur Ocampo.

(Satur--if I remember correctly--was a member of the business staff of the Manila Times when I was with the Sunday Times Magazine as associate editor, along with Frankie Sionil Jose who was Sunday Times’ managing editor. Those were the days when we were younger.)

The dismissal of the impeachment complaints against the President for appreciable and credible reasons means--at least to me--that our country has been saved from turmoil, in the sense that the assertion of those who are for impeachment and those who would oppose a move would generate an unmitigated conflict and a clash of conflicting forces.

Then shall we find ourselves in a situation where our country is the real loser.

Satur has accused the President of “culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust” following PNoy’s signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) between Manila and Washington. However, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said Aquino did not violate the 1987 Constitution since the right to enter into a binding agreement is “not a necessity.”

At any rate, it is said that after the proceedings, and after the impeachment complaints were dismissed, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares and other so-called Makabayan bloc members, lamented the result, saying that it is “a terrible day for the Filipino people.”

But to the majority of our people, there have been a kind of rejoicing for the fact that the nation has been saved from a state of general chaos.

Indeed, our country is pretty safe from any form of limitation on anything that has something to do with their political activities, such as limitation on media campaign and media advertising in television or radio. This has saved us from chaos.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 04, 2014.

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