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Oct 11

The Palace three point shot (updated)

Scuttlebutt is that Bert Gonzalez and Executive Secretary Ermita have been working behind the scenes to pressure the Speaker to refer the Pulido impeachment complaint by Friday, the last session day before the House recess, where Reps. Villarosa and Mat Defensor (chairman of the House Committee on Justice, and who had been applying pressure of his own) are waiting in the wings to kill the complaint. As of last night, word was the pressure was so intense, the Palace wanted the referral made by noon today.

The problem is that the Speaker himself said he wasn’t in a rush:

De Venecia said he would act on the impeachment complaint after the allegations by Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran and five other opposition lawmakers that they were offered bribes to endorse the complaint have been investigated.

So the Speaker’s risking facing disgruntled congressmen who’d characterize the swift referral (the Speaker actually has 10 session days, or until mid-November) as implicating the House leadership, in turn, in an attempted-bribery-tainted scandal. They’d rather that the Speaker give time for two committees to do some sniffing around: the House committees on Ethics and Good Government.

Congressmen want a chance to look into allegations of a fraternity link between Atty. Polido, former Rep. Mike Defensor (son of Rep. Mat Defensor who heads the House Justice Committee) and Ver, who besides being a former chief of staff of Mark Jimenez was supposedly also chief of staff of Ronnie Puno back when he was a congressman representing Antipolo.

The congressmen also want to explore whether their colleague Rep. San Luis is liable for perjury when he admitted during interpolation that he had no idea whether the impeachment complaint he endorsed was true, or if he believed anything in it was true, and yet he executed a sworn affidavit saying he believed the complaint to be true.

See my column today, The invisible ball, as far as the defects of the complaint itself are concerned.

So basically, the Palace wants to make its constitutional three-point shot by Friday, because waiting for the constitutionally-specified 10 session day period to expire opens up the possibility of more revelations by October 25, when the Senate hearings resume. The kind of revelations that might lead to the filing of a proper complaint, which might end up transmitted at the same time as the Pulido innoculation-slash-complaint.

As a senior member of the House has been reportedly grumbling this past week, “ginagago tayo!”

But last night, as talk circulated that Palace pressure was increasing, Rep. Pablo Garcia of Cebu did this: Arroyo’s adviser named as mastermind of ‘sham’ impeach rap which forced a Palace reaction: Puno: Garcia barking up wrong tree. Now what was the point of the whole charade? Why would they engage in cannibalism just as the team’s supposed to be pulling together for the three point shot?

Add then, the emergency meeting this morning (perhaps to smoothen feathers ruffled by the Garcia-Puno squabble): Arroyo meets with 180 solons in Malacanang where originally, it was denied anything impeachment-related was afoot; then the Speaker confirmed it: Palace meeting with 185 solons tackled impeachment – JDV.

And he said, know we may, what happen to impeachment by noon, will.

(update 12:50 pm) A source says the Speaker is still at the Palace but that prior to going to the Palace he’d seemed still inclined not to do the President’s bidding. After all, as he himself has said, JDV: Impeach rap aims to remove me, punish my son:

De Venecia on Wednesday told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) that it would be unwise to immediately refer the complaint filed by lawyer Roel Pulido to the committee on justice in view of allegations that certain congressmen had been offered between P1 million and P2 million to endorse it.

“It would appear that I, too, was bribed to the tune of P2 million,” he said.

De Venecia said the Pulido complaint was directed, not against Arroyo, but against him, as a result of his son’s disclosures on the scandal-ridden $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal.

It’s in “retaliation to what my son did,” he said, pointing out that “60 percent” of the two-page complaint was aimed at him.

“There is a dark conspiracy hovering over us,” he added.

The crucial hour, the source says, will be 3 pm today, to see if the Speaker folds or not. A possible out is for the Speaker, instead of blocking the three-point shot, takes himself out of the game and the referral will be done by Deputy Speaker Raul del Mar.

New Philippine Revolution suggests this is the first set of battles in the fight, not for spoils from China deals, but over the future prime ministership.

2:30 pm I’m going to the Batasan. Will update on Twitter.

28 comments

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  1. tonio

    something’s going on…. somewhere unnoticed. this stinks of a smokescreen.

  2. danton remoto

    Hi, Manolo. Of course, everything is a waiting game. But waiting well is always worth it. The Palace honcho who told Abalos not to let Ang Ladlad, and later, me, run for party list and senator is sick and had to resign. Abalos, of course, had to go, too, after a cocktail of scandals involving sex and the cyberspace. Asus, ginoo. He was shedding crocodile tears all the time. I did not even shed a single tear when he was berating me in front of everybody during the Comelec hearings. When he said, “Your voters are just phantom voters,” I countered: “No, we are not the phantom. We are the opera.”

    By the way, I just started a blog ang put your famous blog as a link. You and Jessica Jessica and Ellen Tordesillas– plus me — comprise the four horsewomen of the apocalypse.

    Cheers.

  3. Arbet

    Sir Danton, witty as always!

  4. tonio

    so, JDV’s on war mode. i was actually half-expecting him to roll over and die, so long as he gets some sort of compensation for it. but then again, J3’s ruckus has made it hard for those kinds of shady deals to take place.

    it’s time to lay down the cards, as it were.

  5. john marzan

    how and when is impeachment initiated?

    does all it take is a lozano or a pulido to file a verified complaint to “initiate impeachment”? Once na file na yan “initiated” na ang impeachment kay arroyo kahit na bulok ang complaint– and maam is “immunized” for another year?

    pero tignan nyo yung 1986 CONCOM deliberations nina Commish Davide at Christian Monsod.

    http://www.politicaljunkie.blogspot.com/2006/01/how-and-when-is-impeachment-initiated.html

    Mr. Davide: “So the thrust of the report is really to relax impeachment as a process. I notice, however, that the proposal now requires a majority vote of all the members of the House to initiate impeachment…so if we are going to relax impeachment, we should retain the one-fifth requirement to initiate impeachment and perhaps even reduce the requirement for conviction.”

    Mr. Monsod: “We were looking at the past where, in the 1973 Constitution, a vote of 20 percent of the membership of the House, and in the 1935 Constitution, a vote of two-thirds of the membership of the House were required to initiate impeachment proceedings.

    (hattip former Sen. Rene Saguisag) Pages 375-76 Vol II, 1986 ConCom Record.
    http://www.inq7.net/opi/2003/nov/10/text/opi_commentary1-1-p.htm

    and here’s DJB’s latest on “impeachment bakuna” tactic being used by Arroyo. magaling talaga ang supreme court ni maam.

    http://www.philippinecommentary.blogspot.com/2007/10/how-supreme-court-set-up-silly.html

    ====

    btw, if some of the links I posted are already dead, you can access the complete articles or archive.org links here

    http://www.politicaljunkie.blogspot.com/2006/01/how-and-when-is-impeachment-initiated.html

  6. Phil Cruz

    Hope this is not a Neri repeat. Where the mountain heaved and labored mightily…and then out came a mouse”.

  7. MAV

    In spin, BS (bullshitting) is usually when one makes statements that are false, or made-up.

    Example:

    “We don’t know who the mastermind is, but obviously, they want to remove me and punish me and my son,” JdeVenecia said.

    But he added: “I don’t think the President knows about this. She’s a righteous president.” Inquirer

  8. Shaman of Malilipot

    Well, JDV has just let the game. He inhibited himself from handling the impeachment rap.

  9. Shaman of Malilipot

    I mean “left” the game.

  10. tonio

    as per the twitter, pulido’s piece of garbage just made it to the committee level. Empress Palpakqueen stays for another year. whoopee.

  11. pl

    in favor ako of ang ladlad being accredited, pero kasalanan din ninyo kung bakit di kayo naacredit. bakit hindi mo aminin danton na nagkamali kayo at di kayo dapat nag pa acredit bilang national party? Alam niyo naman na may requirements yun na di ninyo mami-meet. kaya nga nung nag pa re-consider kayo ay hindi na national party ang tawag niyo sa sarili ninyo, diba?

    at yung pagtakbo mo nang senador, sang-ayon din sana ako dun. kaya lang, wala ka naman talagang mapakitang kakayanan na tumakbo, di ba? Meron kang sinasabing organisasyon ng milyon-milyong LBGT, pero yan di naman ang sinasabi ng kung sinusinong crackpot, di ba? what makes you so special that the COMELEC needed to take your word for it and not require you to back it up with solid proof? Dahil LBGT ka? Kung ganoon, hindi ba discrimination yun? Giving an advantage to a particular group of persons by virtue simply of their being different from the majority?

    ngayon, pinalalabas mo na api ka, dahil di ka nakatakbo bilang senador at party-list. pero nakatakbo ka namang congressman a. Nanalo ka ba? Kung meron kang maraming suporter na inaasahan para sa pagtakbo mo bilang senador, bakit di ka nanalo? Aminin mo na na hindi ka naman talaga handa tumakbo nun. Gusto mo, oo. Maraming gusto, oo. Pero yung gusto mo at yung kaya mong gawin, magkaibang bagay yun.

    Sabi mo, you are not the phantom, you are the opera? Sa tingin ko, danton, mas maiging sabihing you are the drama.

  12. Phil Cruz

    Shaman,
    So, the mountain sput out a mouse?

  13. GPS

    Phil,
    No, the mouse came out of the House.

  14. BrianB

    “Your voters are just phantom voters,” I countered: “No, we are not the phantom. We are the opera.”

    We should all do this, quote ourselves.

  15. BrianB

    “at yung pagtakbo mo nang senador, sang-ayon din sana ako dun. kaya lang, wala ka naman talagang mapakitang kakayanan na tumakbo, di ba?”

    There’s also a party list that’s supposed to represent the youth. The youth is one of the biggest demographics, and they present themselves like a minority group. No vision, just individual ambition.

    Gay people should stop dreaming about gay marriage and focus on current realities with doable solutions. Like the legalization of premarital sex, for example. There is discrimination everywhere, not just for gays. At least with gays, you have the creative field to go to, and you don’t even have to be very talented. Most of our countrymen have to brave oceans and oceanic loneliness to get their opportunity.

    Having the gay minority speak up is a step up in the ladder f civilization; but the gay minority seem to be dominated by spoiled brats with a very imaginative sense of themselves.

  16. BrianB

    MLQ3

    No update on that crucial hour?

    Most likely without much civilian pressure, the pols will settle on a nervous compromise.

    “so, JDV’s on war mode. i was actually half-expecting him to roll over and die, so long as he gets some sort of compensation for it. but then again, J3’s ruckus has made it hard for those kinds of shady deals to take place.”

    Old politicians should be capable of making larger sacrifices than new politicians. They’re on their way to heaven, why not do something that’ll make them deserve that ticket through the pearly gates.

  17. Chabeli

    Joe de V & Gloria looked at each other & guess who blinked first ? JdV. This is yet another blow to our justice system.

    So, what’s next ? People who want to rally peacefully suffer the water canon. We cannot expected anything from our politicans who have been undoubtedly prostituted. We may have the Supreme Court, but it is an equal branch of government & also suffers that risk of being politicised. What else is there left to do ? Support a military junta or stick it out with GMA (who, by the way, has plans to stay beyond 2010) ?????

    At the end of the day, we can whine, complain, & bitch all we want, the choice is still left to us make, really. Again, itutuloy pa ba natin ang laban ?, or do we pack up & stick it out with Gloria ?

  18. cvj

    Brianb, premarital sex is illegal?

  19. BrianB

    Technically it is. I go to Singapore or HK to have sex, fyi. 🙂

  20. ramrod

    BrianB,

    Singapore is too expensive, minimum 150Sgd. Still on the topic of sex, this all came about because of Neri’s case of premature ejaculation.

  21. DevilsAdvc8

    dapat sana marami na nakakulong if pre-marital sex is illegal. (including me, i guess)

  22. mlq3

    actually, i think the entire penal code needs to be brought into the 21st century. but most lawyers i’ve mentioned the idea to don’t seem interested.

  23. BrianB

    “Singapore is too expensive, minimum 150Sgd.”

    Ramrod, what is this, the cost for dinner and drinks? Or maybe you mean some other illegal activity?

  24. ramrod

    BrianB,

    Oh, I thought you meant the other kind, you know the ones you see in the telephone directory in your hotel room? They accept cash and major credit cards and deliver right at your hotel room. Of course I just heard about this from colleagues, I’m a faithful family man like Abalos. 🙂

  25. ramrod

    “dapat sana marami na nakakulong if pre-marital sex is illegal. (including me, i guess)”- devils

    devils, ILLEGAL in the Philippines means “sick bird” – no reference to the law whatsoever…

  26. ramrod

    🙁

  27. DevilsAdvc8

    mlq3, yeah. including the fines, penalties, and years of imprisonment. some should be increased, while others should be modified to community service, etc.

    also, can we undertake a massive revision of the penal code w/o having to tackle cha-cha? and if so, what is preventing us from doing so? sa Congress lang ba to?

  28. mlq3

    devils, re: penal code, yes it’s strictly in the hands of congress, unless we apply the mechanism by which the public can directly propose laws (and revisions to laws) but as i explored it at length, it’s a cumbersome and expensive process.

    my understanding is that the civil code was revised in the late 1940s by a code commission headed by djb’s grandfather, jorge bocobo. but that was authorized by congress and its members appointed by the president. their work was then submitted to congress which then passed it as the new civil code (further amended since, including the more recent family code, i believe).

    i myself had minor experience in what it takes to codify presidential issuances, it’s a nightmarish task. imagine doing the same for our laws. it has to be done but it’s not the sexy kind of work people like to do. even the manner in which amendments to existing laws or bills are discussed required a drastic updating (imagine the house or senate with large screens; on the screens are projected the text of a bill or law; as various members of congress propose amendments they are instantly marked up on the screens, the results then printed out: it’s a far less confusing process than the present one followed).

    but then i go back to my proposal where a simple identity card on the atm model would make the casting and counting of votes instant, and why even civil servants in congress end up laughing every time i bring it up…

    imagine a proposal to codify the laws of the republic.

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