What’s next? Impeach PNoy?
What’s next? Impeach PNoy?
by: Harvey S. Keh, The Manila Times
The recent action of the House of Representatives to pass a resolution calling for the resignation of Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles brought back memories of how this supposed co-equal branch of our government allowed itself to be used to perpetuate the self interests of the previous administration.
Just when everyone thought that the allies of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd had full control of Congress here comes the minority block led by former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo along with Minority Leader Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay manipulating a simple misunderstanding between Secretary Deles and Rep. Aliah Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte into a big issue that led to the unanimous resolution calling for Deles’ head.
Why was Deles being asked to resign? Was it because she failed to do her job to move peace and development forward in Min-danao? No, she didn’t fail in her duties and responsibilities. In fact many civil society groups in Mindanao are very happy with the reappointment of Deles as head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. The answer is plain and simple, Deles is being asked to resign because she offended a member of Congress during her department’s budget hearing.
The allies of Arroyo saw this as a perfect opportunity to humiliate not only Deles but the President as well given that members of the Cabinet are supposed to be alter egos of the President. Sadly, many allies of PNoy in Congress fell into the trap and signed on with the minority’s resolution calling for the resignation of Deles.
Last Saturday, one of our leaders at the Kaya Natin! movement called me up to tell me that this incident shows how fragile is PNoy’s hold in Congress. According to him, during the time that Arroyo was President, this kind of resolution against a member of the Cabinet wouldn’t even get more than 30 votes and would immediately be dismissed by the leaders of Congress.
If the minority can easily outmaneuver the allies of PNoy and move for the ouster of one of his most trusted Cabinet secretaries, can an impeachment be far behind? Remember that for an impeachment complaint to prosper, you will only need one-third of Congress approving the complaint for it to be transmitted to the Senate. More than a hundred so called “honorable” congressmen signed the resolution against Deles. Thus, it just goes to show that perhaps Speaker Sonny Belmonte might need to conduct a loyalty check within his ranks before PNoy gets checkmated by Arroyo and her gang.
Let’s not forget that although Arroyo is no longer president, she continues to be a threat to the present administration’s efforts to promote good governance in our country. Her cohorts would want nothing but for PNoy to fail thus, they are now working toward trying to divide his allies in Congress and the Cabinet.
The challenge now is for PNoy and his allies to get their acts together and set aside personal differences so that the present administration will be able to deliver on its campaign promises.
This will not be the last time that Arroyo’s minions will try to exploit the disunity within the Aquino administration but hopefully, the next time that it happens, PNoy’s allies will be more than ready to respond and not allow another good leader like Deles to become a sacrificial lamb.
A good test case for the allies of PNoy in Congress to redeem themselves would be the on-going impeachment of known Arroyo ally, Ombudsman Merce-ditas Gutierrez. One need not have a political science doctorate to know that PNoy would definitely prefer having a different and trusted person occupying Gutierrez’s post. The challenge for the allies of PNoy would be to muster enough numbers so that they can impeach the Ombudsman and make her accountable for all the shenanigans that happened during her watch.
If many of them could easily sign on to a hastily drawn up resolution asking for Deles’ resignation, how could they not sign on to this unless of course the rumors are now true that LP no longer stands for Liberal Party in Congress but Lakas Pala!
On the good side, we should at least give a pat in the back to PNoy’s allies in Congress led by Speaker Belmonte for being able to pass the national budget with the P21-billion Conditional Cash Transfer or CCT program of the DSWD intact. The CCT is one of the centerpiece programs of the Aquino administration.
Thus, it was a major victory for the administration that the budget passed unscathed. Let’s give credit where credit is due that despite efforts of the minority bloc to block the allocation for the CCT, the majority bloc was able to assert itself and emerge victorious. Now, it becomes our shared responsibility to make sure that we become proactive in ensuring that the P1.6-trillion national budget is spent properly.
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