Friday, August 25, 2006

A Tale of Two Impeachments, Quirino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

A TALE OF TWO IMPEACHMENTS, Quirino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo:

Quirino Impeachment Proceedings (source, “The Memoirs” by Elpidio Quirino):
“The seven-man Committee created by the House to study and report on the impeachment resolution against President Elpidio Quirino was composed of Congressman Lorenzo Sumulong (L-Rizal) as Chairman, and Congressmen Marcos Calo (L-Agusan), Juan Borra (L-Iloilo), Domingo Veloso (L-Leyte), Toribio Perez (L-Albay), Cipriano Primicias (N-Pangasinan) and Felixberto Serrano (N-Batangas), as members. “
“There being no precedent to follow, Chairman Sumulong announced: ‘Without deciding on the actual merit of each case, the committee will first determine whether each charge is impeachable in character.’ Accordingly, he notified the President and his seven accusers to file their respective memoranda on April 13 and be ready to make their oral arguments on April 18.”
The 2006 Impeachment Proceedings:
No memoranda, no oral arguments.

Quirino Impeachment Proceedings:
Congressman Primicias of Pangasinan stated: “Propriety demands that no member of the House, much less the House leaders, should beg favors from the President or go into conference with him since the President is on trial and we might be called upon to prosecute him.”

The 2006 Impeachment Proceedings:
No comments.

Quirino Impeachment Proceedings:
Congressmen Agripino Escareal (L-Samar) and Juan Perez (L-Leyte), for the proponents, argued that: 1)wasting and misappropriation of public funds, 2) abuse of power, violation of laws, and immoral extravagance, 3) intervention prejudicial to the public interest in the transaction wherein his brother Antonio was in connivance with a Russian subject, 4) aiding and abetting graft and corruption, and 5) gross official misconduct and acts which deprived the government of substantial revenue, each constituted and impeachable offense.

The 2006 Impeachment Proceedings:
Did not allow Case by case, cause of action by cause of action arguments.

Quirino Impeachment Proceedings:
The committee, dominated 5-2 by the President’s party, rejected the motion of Solicitor General Felix Angelo Bautista to quash the charges.

The 2006 Impeachment Proceedings:
Efforts to quash came from majority members of the committee.

Quirino Impeachment Proceedings:
The committee, to set to stage for a general examination of the merit of each charge, decided to hold a three-day public hearing for the receipt of testimony or evidence from both parties.

The 2006 Impeachment Proceedings:
No public hearing for the receipt of testimony or evidence from both parties. Testimony or presentation of evidence suppressed.

Quirino Impeachment Proceedings:
Both parties were further advised to submit stipulations of facts on which they were agreed, leaving those charges on which they could not agree for the committee to make an appropriate appraisal of them at the proper time by calling for testimony and evidence. On this basis, the committee quickly resolved the problem of separating the facts from the allegations in order to proceed immediately into the examination of each charge.

The 2006 Impeachment Proceedings:
No stipulation of facts. No attempt to jointly separate the facts from the allegations. No examination of each charge.

Quirino Impeachment Proceedings:
The committee called to testify a number of private citizens, the National Treasurer, officials of various corporations, the President’s brother Judge Antonio Quirino, the Collector of Customs, various officials in charge of government properties, etc.

2006 Impeachment Proceeding:
Witnesses, complainants and counsels barred.

Quirino Impeachment Proceeding:
After closing the public hearings, the committee announced that it would meet to sift all the evidence presented. Both counsels for the respondents and the complainants were asked to submit memorandums on their respective evidence.

2006 Impeachment Proceeding:
Seven boxes of evidence suppressed.

Quirino Impeachment Proceeding:
The committee voted as follows: Charges 5, 4 and 3, all voted unanimously that the charges were groundless; Charge 2, six voted not impeachable, 1 voted aggravated circumstances; and Charge 1, five voted not impeachable, 2 voted for impeachment.

2006 Impeachment Proceeding:
The committee voted lump-sum, complaint insufficient in substance, 56-24.

Quirino Impeachment Proceeding:
The House disposed of the impeachment resolution in 24 days.

2006 Impeachment Proceeding:
The committee disposed of impeachment complaint in 9 days.

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