Friday, August 25, 2006

Golez Explanation of Impeachment Vote. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

IMPEACHMENT, Golez EXPLANATION OF VOTE . Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
ROILO GOLEZ 5:15AM 24 August 2006

Mr. Speaker:

A cloud of cheating has descended upon the nation. T’is a season of calamities.

Cheating in the 2004 elections, in the nursing board exams. Cheating the farmers in their fair share of fertilizer.

Southern Leyte calamity. Rapurapu. Mayon. Lebanon. Guimaras.

Shame, tears, anguish everywhere!

Depending on how we dispose of this committee report, we could end up cheating the public of their right to know the truth. And that, esteemed colleagues, could become the calamity of calamities.

We in the minority have shown that the practice of impeachment mandates the impeachment committee to review evidence presented by complainants, conduct fact-finding and investigate and gather evidence. Our committee on justice did not do those.

It is common practice in impeachment proceedings to discuss and argue causes of action separately, so that members can intelligently evaluate and assess each cause of action. Instead, the causes of action were lumped as one, thus muddling the discussion and suppressing vital facts and issues.

The most central issue—cheating in the 2004 elections—was surgically removed citing a vague case to justify the proposition that offenses that happened before the current term of the respondent are not impeachable.

Yes, ti's a season of calamities. A cloud of cheating is engulfing us. Malacañang is deafeningly silent about the nursing board exams scandal. Why?

Whether those forces—cheating and calamity—will be joined depends on us.

Let me quote and paraphrase someone wiser than I, from another time, another century:

“We owe it to the country to ascertain if the public trust has indeed been violated by our sitting president and at the same time we owe it to the cause of justice and the once exalted office of the presidency to exonerate the chief executive if the accusations are erroneous and invalid. Let the process of the rule of law move forward.

“Many express doubt that Congress will act appropriately. If that turns out to be the case and this episode in our nation’s history is swept under the rug then this will serve as another humble notation for history on a congress accused of lacking the political will and a nation accused as well of lacking the moral fortitude to move forward in the pursuit of truth and justice.

“Nevertheless, it must be said that going through this painful trial may be needed not only for the taming of corruption in the highest places within our government, but perhaps even more importantly, to force our government to return to the wisdom of our forebears and limitations of power enumerated in our constitution. Yes, this constitutional trial by fire may be what is needed for the utter purification of our nation, mired as it is in the political and moral decadence of our times.”

I vote no.

Thank you.


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