Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Gloria Impeachment Dead?

Less than 50 will back Arroyo impeach rap--pro-gov't solons

Maila Ager

CONTRARY to the opposition's claim, pro-administration congressmen said only less than 50 members of the House of Representatives might endorse an impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"We expect less than 50 solons to endorse the complaint, way below the 79 required," Antique Representative Exequiel Javier and Baguio City Representative Mauricio Domogan, Lakas heads for Western Visayas and the Cordillera Autonomous Region respectively, said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The opposition said that they had 75 to 80 congressmen to support the impeachment move against the President.

Javier said the opposition's projection was only meant to encourage members of the majority bloc to support the move since the anti-Arroyo rallies had fizzled out.

"You know, public pressure is a strong force that influences congressmen to support an impeachment move. But it has already fizzled out," he said in a telephone interview.

Domogan said the opposition should guard its ranks against defections because of their alleged growing disenchantment over the partisan way the impeachment case was being handled by their leaders.

"Instead of courting more support, the minority is losing more supporters from its own ranks because the impeachment particulars are nothing but a catalogue of their criticisms against the President," he said.

Javier added that it would be more impossible to get the one-third vote-requirement if the opposition failed to support the case against the President.

Meanwhile, Alagad Representative Rodante Marcoleta, who endorsed lawyer Oliver Lozano's impeachment complaint, objected to the opposition's plan to amend the case without consulting him.

"It should be the endorser who should amend the complaint. Or at least, the endorser should be consulted when there are amendments to the complaint," Marcoleta said.

He lamented that the opposition did not even make an effort to ask him to participate in the preparations.

But House Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero said Marcoleta did not have a monopoly or franchise over Lozano's complaint because a member of the opposition bloc had also endorsed it.

Iloilo Representative Rolex Suplico confirmed that he filed a separate endorsement of Lozano's impeachment complaint last Thursday.

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