Friday, November 28, 2008

So another impeachment is dead....

PhotobucketSo, another impeachment attempt is dead. So what else is new?

I guess it doesn't really matter. No one really expected the impeachment to gain ground in a House of Representatives dominated by allies and partymates of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Even with the damning revelations of former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr., considering he was once the President's chief lieutenant in keeping the House and its members in check.

It's been four years in a row, and hardly any impeachment attempt ever made it to first base, thanks to the sheer number of congressmen loyal to Malacañang. I guess it's our fault as well. We "technically" voted these people into office. They supposedly should represent the collective will of the Filipino people, and if the past four impeachment attempts are any indication, it would appear that the people do not want President Arroyo to be impeached.

Of course, we may never really know. Elections in this country, except for rare instances, have never really been successful in reflecting the sentiments of the citizens of the country.

The determination of the sufficiency of the filed impeachment complaint in form and substance was never meant by the Constitution to be the determinant of the President's guilt or innocence. That would be the Senate's job, and yet, Presidential allies have been quick to vote against the complaint which has detailed accounts of President's misdeeds, thus derailing any opportunity for the Filipino people to learn the truth over accusations which have remained unresolved all these years.

From allegations of cheating in the last Presidential elections, to violations of human rights, to the fertilizer fund scam, to the botched NBN-GTZ agreement, to accusations of vote-buying in the House, Congress has collectively made the determination that there is no probable cause to warrant a full blown impeachment trial...which is frankly, a lot of bull.

The message it sends is that the most powerful person in the country can do virtually anything illegal without fear of being held accountable for her actions.

I'm disappointed, but hardly surprised.

Don't get me wrong. I do not hate the current President or administration, but I do find it very disturbing that they absolutely refuse to answer the accusations of wrongdoing which clearly point to at least some level of accountability and responsibility on their part. I also find the way they corrupt existing legal processes for taking the President to task highly distasteful. The provisions of the Constitution should not be used to perpetrate injustice in any form, and yet that is precisely what is happening.

And now, there is talk about the elections in 2010 being postponed, terms of office extended, and even charter change, which further creates a bitter taste in my mouth.

Alas, when former President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared martial law and for all intents and purposes consolidated the powers of the three separate branches of government into his office, there were hardly any pretensions as to what his ultimate objective was. The current President on the other hand, keeps trying to maintain an image of being subservient to the law and the Constitution, when her actions and the actions of her administration clearly show otherwise.

No one should be above the law, but when you're in power, the law appears to be nothing more than an optional formality.

We claim to be a country of laws and not of men. It's just too bad that when faced with the opportunity to put this maxim to action, we fall short...each and every time.





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