By Marlen V. Ronquillo
Manila Times

Where did congressmen get this urge to impeach at the drop of a hat?

Where does it come from? What is its genesis? Why they possess such gall and gumption to flex their impeachment muscle at every whim is depressingly beyond us.

But it is there, this thuggish urge of the House of Representatives to move for the impeachment of an official on the basis of the street gangs’ mind set of “ nakursunadahan.”

Kursunada natin si Justice Puno. E di I-impeach natin.

Opponents of President Glo-ria Arroyo (the real ones) are worried over the possible filing of an impeachment case against Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno. Because they know that the planned impeachment is all noise and bark, all posturing and tough talk. There is no substantive basis, no legal leg on which the impeachment case can truly stand on.

The hot air of an impeachment will fail. And the failure of the impeachment effort—which is inevitable and given—will have President Arroyo as the prime beneficiary. Why President Ar-royo and not Chief Justice Puno? I will explain.

Impeachment, a powerful political tool under our democratic practices, is a word fast losing its credibility. It got its Kodak moment after the ouster of Erap Estrada, true. But after that, it was wielded over and over again against President Arroyo with no real results.

As a result, the catalogue of cases cited in the impeachment complaints against President Arroyo never mattered. There was never a proper evaluation on the merits of the items raised in the impeachment complaints.

The general sense, and this was the tragedy, was that the impeachment was a losing effort filed by the losing party. The gravity and seriousness that was attached to the act of impeachment during Erap’s time had been wasted away.

In this environment, it is not far-fetched that impeachment, as a political tool against erring leaders, would end up without a shred of credibility should some members of Congress indeed move to impeach Chief Justice Puno.

Impeachment, a serious political action, would end up having the reputation of the game show Trivial Pursuit. When it is that cheapened and discredited, any and future impeachment cases against President Arroyo will be regarded as such: cheap and discredited political tricks.

The staunchest political enemies of President Arroyo, you can see the reasons why, will truly be saddened by a failed impeachment case against Chief Justice Puno. This ensures that, with the credibility of impeachment at its all-time low, there will be no reprise—ever again—of the successful effort to impeach Estrada.

Ok, there is an interesting observation and you judge whether it has some credence or not: Impeachment became the cause of the hopeless after lawyer Oliver Lozano joined the impeachment fray.

In the whole ghastly saga of the planned impeachment of the Chief Justice, an interesting political dynamic, a side issue of the impeach move, was missed. This is the string of amazing victories scored by young Tsinoy politicians in recent elections

These young Tsinoy politicians, virtually unknown, have been toppling local political dynasties without fuss and fanfare. The national media has missed this story. Samples:

  • Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong, whose disqualification is at the heart of the Puno impeach move, beat the wife of former Rep. Jacinto Paras in the 2007 congressional election in Negros Oriental. Nobody expected this. The Parases, with the Tevezes and Arnaizes, are the three most dominant political families in Negros Oriental.
  • A young Tsinoy politician beat Gerry Espina in the Biliran congressional race, again, via a comfortable margin. Gerry Espina was “Con-con” delegate (representing Sampaloc, Manila) in 1972. He was governor, congressman, IBP MP etc. He was a deputy minister in the Marcos Cabinet.
  • The Kho political family has all but obliterated the hold of the old dynasty in Masbate politics, the Espinosas. The Espinosa patriarch was a congressman and labor secretary under the first Macapagal administration.

The 2010 election will surely see more Tsinoys toppling political dynasties and old political families

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This reminds me – what happened to all the hot air from Glenn Chong about recalling his political enemies, or putting them in jail? Seems to me GC made a promise about that and didn’t keep it.

    It is a mistake to see the election of Chong as a positive sign for the Philippines, rather a sign of gullibility. Elections are still determined by money. Glenn Chong won because Espina didn’t take him seriously, didn’t think he had to spend much in the election. The Chongs came up with some unexpected last minute money for vote-buying and turned the tables. Plus Glenn Chong always seems to have a convenient murder he can blame on his adversary.

    (Need I say that this article is yet another example of BI.com publishing anything they can find or create to enhance the image of the Chongs?)

  2. Well, anona, you must have personal/political issues against GC.

    Using the words like “hot air, promise…didn’t keep it…sign of gullibility…convenient murder he can blame…” etc, attest to the fact you really dislike him! Sort of guest book messages…(they are too funny out there.
    …makalingaw…not boring unlike the main stream media).

    As I said before, you seem to be a smart person but just like other bright earthlings out there, you seem to have “other priorities”. That’s why the world is in shambles with all
    those intelligent leaders kuno.

    I did not vote anybody in the last elections but if I had the chance, I would have gone to someone else who can end the dynasty. Period. If he is young and idealistic, that’s a plus plus, especially if concreting the main roads are his priorities not hotels or gym.

    I think majority of the Biliranons should be congratulated for doing you don’t like: elected non-dynasty guy and just too bad it did not go your way.
    If GC shows bad signs of his political motives, well, there are elections coming, Philippine-style. Let the people or money decide though I prefer the former.

    Another thing I disagree with you is your notion that bi.com is tilting towards someone else and “enhance the image of the
    Chongs” if I may use your wordings.

    So why don’t you invite your fave politicians to blog here without hiding themselves?You know just like what GC did.
    He is blogging his own name.

    Too many times, there have been invitations to Governor Espina, Bulak, and other politicians to participate here but all fall in deaf ears.

    Maybe you can persuade them to come out and blog here what’s in their mind?
    That will be interesting and will make this site NOT BORING more….and stop you from claiming that this site is favoring
    someone else.Oh, I feel insulted in behalf of the founder!

    Sige na. Imbetaha sila.

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