Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

Impeachment Shall Serve as Closure

Posted on | September 4, 2005 | No Comments

(PRESS Release, USC Manila Office of the Chairperson, AFED-05-041)

Tuesday, the 6th of September will be remembered as how the House of Representatives honored the nation’s demand for the truth and President Arroyo’s challenge for her critics to bring their grievances to Congress. It shall be a day of judgment as to the soundness of constitutional measures which we, the students of the University of the Philippines Manila, have consistently adhered to and upheld.

Everything has been above-board in so far as the system’s form is considered; substance though is another matter. We witnessed how, in motions flimsily draped by an effort to mask maneuvering, impeachment may have been prostituted to vested interests.

Why did the House Justice Committee, in its majority conviction that the evidence brought against the President is weak, not allow the presentation of facts that may have supported either cause for or against the impeachment complaint?

Why did the opposition walk-out when it found itself contradicted? Emotions were high, yes – but even we students know how to restrain ourselves from the parliament of the streets in favor of giving a benefit of the doubt for the assailed processes of our Constitution.

Let not our solons shatter the faith that we still have in our democratic way of life this coming Tuesday.

Our University Student Council sees the current political situation as a manifestation of our rotten political culture, the weakening of credibility of our state institutions and its key players, the desire of individuals and interest groups left and right to hold on or to grab power and the government’s apathy towards the people’s agenda.

There is a need to change the system to one that allows less of the political bickering and deadlocks but more of responsiveness to the basic needs of the people. On the side, this change must be achieved without violence and bloodshed and should be consistent with the rule of law and clearly exponent of the people’s direct mandate. Our 1987 constitution provides sufficient mechanisms for the systemic overhaul we envision.

Nevertheless, unlike the smokescreen made by declaring the start of a great debate for charter change in the President’s recent SONA, we believe that Filipinos are intelligent enough to multitask by exploring avenues to change the system free from political influence, while at the same time finding closure to the current political crisis.

This quandary we are in is not being helped in any way by other simultaneous events: the soaring of global oil prices, the E-VAT sword hanging over our heads, and the persistent threats of higher education and healthcare costs.

Impeachment proceedings shall serve as closure for this turbulent chapter in our nation’s history. And we students of UP Manila shall be ready to write the next.

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