Impeachment route is out
The documents constitute an impeachment complaint against President Arroyo, properly endorsed by an obscure congressman allied with the administration. The offense is alleged betrayal of public trust when Gloria called up a Supreme Court justice to greet the latter "Happy Birthday."
On arrival at his office at 9 a.m., Speaker Jose de Venecia promptly transmits the complaint to the committee on justice (Congress is in session exactly two days after it opened on July 24).
Voila! Gloria is properly inoculated against impeachment for the rest of 2006 because of the constitutional provision that says an impeachable official can be subject to impeachment only once a year and because of House rules which say impeachment starts when a properly endorsed complaint is transmitted to the committee on justice.
Same thing happens on July 26 of 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Ridiculous? It is. But given what is currently happening at the House on the impeachment complaint, an annual inoculation of Gloria against impeachment is not far-fetched.
Former Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman revealed yesterday that Gloria had directed Gabby Claudio, presidential political adviser, to look for an endorser of Lozano’s complaint. That endorser was found in the person of Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, who confirmed that his endorsement was a party decision.
It also surfaced at yesterday’s hearing that the same Lozano filed an impeachment complaint against then Vice President Gloria Arroyo in November 2000 at the height of the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada. The Lozano complaint – surprise! – was endorsed by Rep. Prospero Pichay, Gloria’s self-proclaimed pitbull in the House.
This Lozano appears to be a regular Edward Jenning, the 18th century English doctor who discovered that when pus from cowpox was applied to an incision on a healthy human being, the latter acquired immunity to smallpox.
As this was being written, pro-impeachment congressmen decided to walk out. A few members of the pro-impeachment bloc earlier said they might try again next year. They should not bother. Lozano and Gloria’s lapdogs will beat them to the draw again.
The impeachment route is out. Gloria will have to be ejected from Malacañang.