By ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
The canvassing for the Senatorial votes is far from over. The trend, however, is crystal clear: eight from the Genuine Opposition (GO) will surely make it to the 12 slate new Senators for a fresh six years in office. The Senate is sure to be dominated by the opposition based on the tend and the incumbent 12 senators.
The trend, which I think would be the same result, has a clear message to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the people want change from her policies and plans she tried the people to swallow in the past years. The policies include her plan for charter change or cha-cha and moves to further liberalize the economy in favor of foreign capitals.
I also interpret the votes garnered by the GO Senatoriables as votes for GMAs impeachment. Take note that the GO senatoriables included members of the House, who voted for the impeachment complaint against GMA despite being outnumbered by the latter’s allies. They included Chiz Escudero, Noynoy Aquino, and Allan Cayetano. All of them land on fair ranks from both Comelec and Namfrel counts. They are sure winners, so to speak.
The votes Escudero, Aquino and Cayetano garnered had proven that their position on the impeachment is popular and correct (and those from GMAs allies incorrect.) They were blessed with million votes because of their consistent pro-impeachment position.
So could GMA be impeached by the Senate (as an Impeachment Court) if an impeachment complaint if transmitted by the House to the Senate? Possibly yes. But the impeachment complaint must passed by the House.
An impeachment complaint needs to be adopted by one-third of the total members of the House of Representatives before it can be transmitted to the senate for trial. Presently, the administration coalitions count 175 congressmen in its favor, according to its May 25 Philippine Daily Inquirer paid advertisement. The numbers includes four re-elected Cordillera congressmen who are pro-administration. And as it shows in the past, it can use the tyranny of numbers to deny the constitutionally required one-third of its members to push for an impeachment of GMA.
“They can kill an impeachment complaint” even before it reached the House as they did with the 2nd impeachment complaint. So this explains why the administration did everything just for its House candidates win at whatever cost. Remember, a complaint for impeachment was filed against GMA August last year, an impeachment complaint may be initiated September this year as the constitution provides for a one-year ban for filing impeachment against the same official.
Does this mean that it is impossible to impeach GMA? Of course not! Who knows, administration congressmen who voted against the impeachment might change their position either because they are convinced with the new political developments or they plan to run for the senate.
How about the party-list representatives? Twenty percent of the House 250 members (or 50) should come from party-lists representatives. If in case pro-impeachment representatives would dominate party-list representation, they can be an added voice for the opposition to have that one-third in the House. But we need to watch out because there are Malacañang supported party-lists they are pushing to be among those needed in the representation if they can deliver the required number of votes.
But if in case it is hard to achieve the one-third numbers of the House for GMAs impeachment, the answer now lies with the people – they can exercise their sovereign will. They can either exercise their sovereign will through people power or force their Representatives to be real representatives by discussing the issue with them publicly and should adopt the people’s position whether or not to impeach GMA. The two options are probable. And it might affect who would be our next president comes 2010 – would it come from the GO or the administration? Watch for 2010. Prior to that however, watch for the probable candidates. #