Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This article came out in the Business Mirror on October 15, 2008, page A6

“Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.” -Rita Mae Brown

The Batasan approved the 2009 budget last week. It has fulfilled its duty to fund all the government’s programs and expenses for the coming year. It can now move on to a matter of the greatest national importance: impeachment.

Now is the time to determine whether or not Gloria Arroyo can be trusted with the PhP1.4 trillion budget.

The impeachment charges – betraying public trust, culpable violations of the Constitution, acts amounting to bribery, and acts of graft and corruption – are neither recycled nor frivolous. It’s not, as a Palace mouthpiece would have the public believe, “like replaying a movie that never took off.”
There are new elements in this complaint:

The Quedancor scam has been added to the charge of corruption and the selling of Mt. Diwalwal’s gold to ZTE is a new element in the charge of betrayal of public trust.

The allegation of bribery, that Gloria Arroyo paid congressmen to endorse the fake two-page Pulido impeachment complaint, has been confirmed by Representative  Antonio Cuenco, the late Representative Crispin Beltran, and “admissions made by the Liberal Party that 14 of its members received amounts of P500,000 from respondent (Gloria Arroyo).”

In addition, Governors Ed Panlilio and Jonjon Mendoza revealed they received money while attending a meeting where the Roel Pulido impeachment was discussed. Panlilio even showed the bundle of money he received to a Senate committee investigating the matter.

The allegation of human rights violations cannot be ignored either, not after the Supreme Court said Gloria Arroyo’s hero, General Jovito Palparan, was involved in the abduction of the Manalo brothers.

The impeachment complaint is so solid Malacañang has to lie, obfuscate, and distract so as not to address it.

Palace spokesman Anthony Golez lied. He said, “Wala silang na-prove, it did not prosper in any of the official courts in the country. Ano ang bago sa binibintang nila?”

Arroyo has not been brought to any “official courts in the country” because she has immunity, duh. The only court that can try her is the Senate but no case has been filed there because the “fiscals” (congressmen) were paid to drop the case. Don’t be so stupid as to think we are idiots, Anthony.

For distraction and obfuscation, Anthony added smear to his lie. He asked, “Tatakbo ba sila sa 2010, that’s why they are using other people for their ambition?”

Motives have nothing to do with the objective merits of the case, motives may color the case but they cannot and do not change the facts, Anthony.

Jess Dureza also chose the low road when he said, “Let’s not give importance to these two. It’s so obvious that this move is actually the launching of their senatorial bids. Why else would they do it if not for that?”
It’s typical of the former peace adviser who can’t differentiate between capitulation and making peace not to do anything right. In trying to dismiss the impeachment complaint, he said De Venecia should not be given importance. Thus he unwittingly bolstered the argument that the impeachment should be about Gloria Arroyo and not Joey De Venecia.

The Batasan pitched in. Speaker Prospero Nograles reminded everyone “at the end of the day, it’s still a numbers game.” There must be a sign at the entrance of Nograles’ office that reads: “Welcome. But leave your conscience at the door.”

A congressman brought up the global financial crisis and said we should attend to it rather than the national malaise brought about by a lying, thieving administration. It’s true the meltdown should concern us all but what can the Batasan really do besides talking about it; pass a law making meltdowns illegal? Do something about things you can do something about, Mr. Congressman. Put an end to this sorry chapter in our history, impeach Gloria.

Gloria Arroyo insists she is clean and has nothing to hide. So, why does she spend so much money to abort impeachment complaints?

Why does she prefer to keep her reputation under a cloud when, in an impeachment trial, she can confront her accusers and clear her name?

What are you afraid of, Mrs. Arroyo?

A televised impeachment will provide entertainment for a jobless, starving people. There is no better way to distract them from the miserable life you gave them. Think about it.