Daily Archives: August 17, 2005

The Jaraula formula

It may be that the majority of the Committee on Justice (arithmetical, not administrative) will in the end subscribe to the formula suggested by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Constantino Jaraula. Give due course to the original impeachment complaint filed by Marcos lawyer Oliver Lozano, which alleges betrayal of public trust, and the amendments in the amended (or third) complaint pertaining only to the original charge.

From the point of view of a compromise formula, this is, as they say, priced to move.

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On self-destruct

So I think it comes down to this: Which side will self-destruct first? The raid on one of Sen. Ping Lacson’s assets looks most ill-advised. The opposition has not been shy about seizing on the raid as another instance of the Arroyo administration’s increasing use of strong-arm tactics. It certainly raises more questions about what the administration is willing to do to prevent an adverse finding in Congress.

On the other hand, the political opposition still does not seem to "get" the impeachment game. (It is led, we must note, by the same second-generation politicians who tried but failed to impeach Chief Justice Hilario Davide.) Why did the opposition fail to even approach Alagad party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, whose endorsement of the original Lozano complaint is the source of the opposition’s impeachment woes? In fact, when Lozano filed his first complaint, House Minority Leader Francis Escudero immediately called the Marcos lawyer a proxy for the President (a risible charge). Then the political opposition aired an appeal to the majority (well, at least they did it through media) not to endorse the complaint. When Marcoleta (the Iglesia ni Cristo representative, not so coincidentally) stepped forward to endorse it, the opposition criticized him. But reason with him? Try to dissuade him? Argue with him?

Some of the President’s most ardent supporters, such as Rep. Mat Defensor, do not wish to give even an inch. Hence their resistance to the reasonable request that the Committee on Justice write a letter to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, to explain the raid this morning. But the President’s fiercest opponents (you can identify them by how often they worry in public about giving the President her "day in court") have never found it in their heart to fight the battle in the impeachment process. That is why they have taken to retailing alleged evidence of election fraud before the media; that is why, in spite of their oft-repeated complaints about the need to hurry the process, you can see them using up their allotted three minutes, to make the same point over and over again.

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