New impeach plaint filed vs GMA

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — STILL within the one-year ban, a new impeachment complaint was filed yesterday against President Macapagal-Arroyo at the House of Representatives by a disqualified presidential candidate.

Elly Velez Pamatong charged Mrs. Arroyo with violating her “constitutional duty to act with utmost integrity and loyalty to the Republic, utmost responsibility and patriotism and utmost efficiency and justice.”

According to Pamatong, the President violated the Constitution when she talked to elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano during the 2004 elections and when she signed the controversial National Broadband Network deal with China’s Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment.

“For making public confessions to the effect that she violated her duty to act and serve the Republic with utmost responsibility, integrity, efficiency, loyalty, and act with justice and patriotism, the undersigned hereby most respectfully prays that this impeachment complaint be given due course,” Pamatong said in the complaint.

Pamatong’s impeachment complaint had rough sailing at once. The House Secretary General initially refused to accept the complaint due to lack of a letter of endorsement.

Under House rules, an impeachment complaint requires an endorsement by a member of the Chamber.

Only the aide of Pamatong identified as Marlou Planos showed up in the Batasan. Pamatong reportedly received death threats in connection with the filing of the case against Mrs. Arroyo.

However, solons from the administration and opposition both described the complaint as bogus and a gimmick.

Speaker Prospero Nograles said the complaint cannot stand because no member of the House is endorsing it and that the one-year ban was not over.

Last year, lawyer Ruel Pulido filed an impeachment complaint which was endorsed by Laguna Rep. Edgar San Luis. The House Committee on Justice dismissed the case in November 2007 due to lack of substance.

Independent Rep. Edno Joson said that Pamatong’s case is a political gimmick and aimed at gaining media mileage.

“Yung new complaint, that is not in good faith. I think that is preemptive,” Joson stressed.

Opposition militant solons also said that the impeachment case is fake and intended to preempt the genuine impeachment case to be filed after the one- year ban.

Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo said the progressive militant groups would not support the impeachment case.