June 26 marks the date set for the filing of a new impeachment complaint against the President. The administration pooh-poohs the new charges, argues it’s unfairly pandering to public opinion, and warns that if the effort to succeed, not just the President would lose her job.
This time around, the complaint will originate with a broader segment of the public, and then nursed through the process by the opposition. The charges to be leveled against the President are more concise and powerful than ever before. They are, according to the lawyers, three main accusations:
GMA EXERCISED DICTATORIAL POWERS TO SILENCE, IF NOT STIFLE, POLITICAL DISSENT ARISING FROM HER ILLEGITIMATE PRESIDENCY. Charges of obstruction of justice, EO 464, CPR and 1017, Daily Tribune, the Batasan 5, electoral fraud.
GMA COMMITTED CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. She abetted, if not encouraged, the systematic and widespread killings of political dissidents and journalists to silence criticisms lodged against her and to continue her illegitimate hold on power.
GMA CRIMINALLY CONCEALED HER CONJUGAL ASSETS,Ã‚Â ENGAGED IN GRAFT AND CORRUPTION,Ã‚Â ANDÃ‚Â ENTERED INTO ILLEGAL GOVERNMENTÃ‚Â CONTRACTS. The Jose Pidal accounts, PIATCO bribery, Northrail; jueteng; as well as illegal withholding of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
The Total War policy steamrolls forward: Crush-NPA war has 3 deadlines; and while you can’t make an omelet without cracking some eggs, it’s about (officially, at least) hearts and minds:Ã‚Â Troops, aid to pour into 3 key areas. Predictably, Lacson supports all-out-war to end communist rebellion while equally predictably, Joma says corruption will eat up war money.
In the punditocracy, the Inquirer editorial tackles the breezy attitude of officialdom to the term “collateral damage,” while Juan Mercado takes a skeptical look at the Total War effort. Tony Abaya is all for dissent: as long as its along Jeffersonian democratic lines.
Bel Cunanan floats a trial balloon from the President’s lawyer: a second impeachment is impossible because the first one was questioned!
Connie Veneracion writes on the important distinctions that the law makes with regards to crimes such as rape: it is the act and the circumstances surrounding it, not what anyone thinks about the victim, that matters.
Isolde Amante has an interesting column tackling the President’s mega-region scheme: it’s long been an idea talked about, but the devil, as they say, will be in the details. Check out her blog, Peryodistang Pinay, for background on her column: she’s way ahead of other columnists in using her blog as a means to illuminate what’s been printed. Ilolio City Boy also has a related blog post: ongoing efforts in his city to establish an MMDA-like authority for the area, as well as a Congressional proposal to formalize those efforts.
Overseas, the New Straits Times hopes that the Malaysian parliament will finally be serious about efforts to establish a genuine watchdog over corruption. Ching Ung Ho in the same paper delves into actual regional examples of failed states. The Sydney Morning Herald appeals for a state government to get over its mental gridlock with regards to transport problems.
In the blogosphere, the PCIJ blog focuses on allegations that some official of the National Movement for Free Elections might have been accomplices in electoral fraud. Istambay sa Mindanao wants clearer answers from the officials.
Manila Vanilla takes an inter island vessel (marvelously descriptive!).
Paolo Manalo: what if Rizal was actually Jack the Ripper?
New Economist on how inequality increasingly characterizes American society.