FILE PHOTO: Members of the House of Representatives attend the opening session of the 17th Congress to cast votes for their new leaders. (Kenji Hasegawa/Photoville International)
The House of Representatives is being urged to show impartiality and fairness in handling the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Constitution defines Congress as an independent branch of the government.
It is co-equal to the Executive and the Legislative branches and is expected to perform check and balances against the two other branches.
Hence, some senators, being members of the Congress, urge their twin chamber — the House of Representatives, to show their impartiality in handling the impeachment complaint filed against the President.
“Bilang sila ang kambal na house namin sa kongreso ng Pilipinas, I am hoping na ano man ang nangyari sa House of Representatives, both good and not good, katulad dito sa Senado, ay hoping na they will rise to the challenge ng fair na paghusga sa merito ng impeachment complaint at inaasahan ko ang maayos nila na aksyon sa prosesong iyan,” said Senator Risa Hontiveros.
(As the Senate’s twin house in Congress, I am hoping that whatever happened in the House of Representatives, both good and not good, like in the Senate, they will rise to the challenge of being fair in judging the merits of the impeachment complaint. I trust their appropriate action on the process.)
The lady senator also hopes that House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez can still prove his fairness in the process, even if he earlier tagged the impeachment complaint as something “stupid”.
“Kahit si Speaker naman po ay isang boto sa House of Representatives at isang boto bilang ex oficio member sa kanilang sa committee on justice, so kahit sinabi nila iyon ay inaasahan ko pa rin ang maayos at makatwirang pagkilos ni Speaker sa impeachment complaint na ito,” Hontiveros added.
(Even Speaker is one vote in the House of Representatives and one vote as ex oficio member of committee on justice. Even though he said that, I’m still counting on the appropriate and just actions of the Speaker in this impeachment complaint.)
Liberal Party president Senator Francis Pangilinan said, whether or not they agree with the complaint against the President, lawmakers should respect the impeachment process as afforded by the Constitution.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, said “good luck” to the Magdalo Partylist and cited that in order to convict the President, 1/3 votes from House, and 16 votes from Senate will be needed.
Minority Senator Bam Aquino said it is the right of every Filipino to utilize processes under the law to demand accountability of government officials.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, however, maintains that Congress, which will stand as impeachment court, should evaluate carefully the merits of the complaint.
“Puno’t dulo naman ay ebidensya eh, kung paano mo ito patunayan sa Kongreso being fiscal of impeachment case. What happens here iyong Kongreso titingnan ang mga ebidensya, titingnan iyong complaint, at titingnan kung may basis iyong complaint,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said.
(Ultimately it’s about the evidence; how you are going to prove it in Congress as the fiscal of the impeachment case. What happens here, Congress will examine the evidence, the complaint and will evaluate if the complaint has basis.)
While some senators refused to comment, Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito insists the filing of the complaint is not timely, as the country cannot move forward with ouster moves like these.
Magdalo Partylist Senator Antonio Trillanes, on the other hand, welcomes and supports the filing, and said it is the last venue for the President to finally face allegations against him. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue