House tackles impeach complaint

By Jomar Canlas, Reporter

The House Committee on Justice would start Tuesday morning its four-day hearing on the impeachment complaint lodged against President Gloria Arroyo.

Only from five out of 29 opposition lawmakers and former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. of Pangasinan endorsed the complaint.

According to House Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr., it is the Constitutional duty of the House of Representatives to expedite the proceedings on the impeachment complaint. Likewise, the House has other important matters to tackle.

“There are other legislative concerns that we will tackle with great national importance to counter the negative impacts of the worldwide crisis,” he said.

Rep. Eduardo Zialcita of Para­ñaque, an ally of the Arroyo administration, believes the impeachment case against President Arroyo is weak because it is nothing more than a rehash of the previous impeachment complaints that all failed.

Rep. Mauricio Domogan of Baguio City, vice chairman of the House justice committee, argued that the success of the impeachment complaint would appear to be dependent on the endorsement made the six House members.

“As of this moment, we can safely say that more or less, 80 percent of the strength of the impeachment complaint lies alone from the five endorsers from the opposition and also former Speaker de Venecia, although we have to still see the developments during the hearing,” Domogan said.

Domogan said the impeachment issue is all about numbers and what matters is how many signatures the impeachment complaint gets.

House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora said the opposition bloc is supporting the impeachment complaint but pointed out their endorsement is not needed for the process to proceed.

“We have agreed already that we are going to support it and we will show this when we get to the Committee on Justice and when we vote in the plenary. I don’t know why everybody is focusing on the number of those endorsing the complaint,” the minority floor leader said.

The opposition legislators who signed the complaint were Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño of Bayan Muna, Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis, Liza Maza of Gabriela and Rep. Teofisto Guingona 3rd of Bukidnon.(ManilaTimes)

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