Impeachment of VP likely.
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There was a clear divide along party lines in the Senate with members voicing concern over the Senate president’s statement. All the Senators of the Liberal Party were up in arms.
Their anger stemmed from a statement of the Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. He had stated in the house that am impeachment proceeding against the Vice President would receive popular support.
They expressed shock at this statement and assailed him for having said that.
The LP has five Senators in the Senate with Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, being with the majority bloc. The other four are in the minority bloc.
Moreover, the House of Representatives is loaded with the administration and its allies. Therefore, any initiative of this sort would sail through with ease and an overwhelming show of support.
The four representatives of the Liberal Party (LP) in the Senate are:
1. The President of the Liberal party, Senator Francis Pangilinan,
2. Franklin Drilon, the Minority Leader,
3. Senator Bam Aquino, and
4. Senator Leila de Lima.
They pointed out that the Senate president was wasting the time of the Senate by dwelling on irrelevant issues. In addition, the Senate President chose to discuss figures that did not matter much to the nation.
However, they wanted Pimentel to focus on important issues that deserved a discussion in the precious time of the Senators.
The nation was facing so many problems like:
1. Unresolved murders under the war on drugs,
2. Spiraling prices of essential commodities,
3. The latest issue of Benham Rise where the rich biodiversity and the mineral-rich 13 million undersea treasures that China was trying to capture.
Later, they sent a letter noting down the hot issues that deserved the attention of the elected representatives. The LP Senators sent this representation to their Party President Pangilinan’s office.
However, the LP Senators also stated that the issue of impeachment of the Vice President was not as important as the burning issues faced by the common man.
In addition, the common man may only be academically interested in how many votes the Duterte administration garners if it impeaches Robredo. Viable solutions to the problems mentioned in the joint statement are of higher concern to the public, they stated.
The Speaker of the House, Pantaleon Alvarez and Jose Calida, the Solicitor General had threatened to launch impeachment proceedings. Pimentel had, in an interview, commented about impeachment proceedings that may take place against the Vice President.
Moreover, getting 100 congressmen to support the impeachment motion should not be difficult if there was a complaint for impeachment. Since Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez commanded a following of more than 200 congressmen, impeachment should be quite easy, he said.
Earlier, the Vice President Leni Robredo had dispatched a video to the United Nations against the administration’s war on drugs. Whatever the justification, it was tantamount asking for outside interference in the internal affairs of the country.
Therefore, finding this unacceptable, the Speaker is currently exploring all the available options for lodging impeachment proceedings. However, the Liberal party Senators defended her right to approach the United Nations without assigning any solid justification.
Therefore, they only mentioned her rights as a citizen and as an elected representative though the reasoning was not clear. They also tried to defend her on the plea that democracies respected dissent.
LP Senators repeatedly decried the focus on political issues rather than bettering the everyday life of the common man.
They continued to speak of the public issues as a means of arguing against the likely motion of impeachment.
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Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson
Monday, 20 March 2017