It was at about 5:48 pm on Monday when the controversial Iggy Arroyo — the First Gentleman’s brother who claimed he was the real Jose Pidal — walked into the session hall. I did not see him greet anyone, or anyone greet him; he went straight to the back of the hall, to take a seat in the last row of desks (on the left side of the session hall). He sat alone for the longest time. Much later, as the evening wore on, I saw him in what looked like desultory conversation with other administration congressmen: Rep. Miranda, whose suit looked a little tight; Rep. Antonino, who if I remember correctly wore a dark suit, a dark shirt, and a dark tie.
Arroyo was only a few meters (but two gallery partitions) away from his accuser, the dramatic Sandra Cam, who was dressed in mourning clothes.
He entered the hall in the middle of Rep. Clavel Martinez’s somewhat bizarre confession, which as far as I could tell was an attempt to extricate herself from the connections she had enjoyed in her successful campaign last year: from the good graces of Sec. Joey Rufino, from the support of her clan ("I hope Tito Miling will forgive me for this" — referring to Rep. Emilio Espinosa, her uncle, who was presiding over the session), from the comfort of a capacious conscience ("I’m sorry I am saying this … the sin of omission is terrible to countenance").
During her turn at the lectern, I was struck by a thought. I wrote in my notes: "The emotional opposition: Plaza, Paras, Martinez." It seemed to me then that, barely an hour into the session, three pro-impeachment congressmen were already having a hard time keeping their emotions in check: Plaza booming his point of order against Rep. Marcoleta, as though personally aggrieved by the attacks against Dinky Soliman; Paras shouting "Mr. Speaker!" into the microphone, as though challenging the presiding officer to a fight; Martinez almost choking on post-election angst.
But it was at this point that I saw Rep. Ding Roman, the administration congressman from Bataan in favor of the amended impeachment complaint, lean over the partition separating the floor from the first gallery and say to a group of friends: "It’s reachable. It may be a miracle, but it’s reachable."