House votes 158 – 51 to uphold Justice committee report
06 September 2005 04:34:35 PM
Writer: Noel Albano, PRID
From the House of Representatives website
The roll-call vote, which commenced at about 3:40 a.m. and took all of thirteen hours to complete, was 158 in favor and 51 against with six (6) abstentions.
Speaker Jose de Venecia and senior House leaders immediately called for a â€œperiod of healing and reconciliationâ€ and urged Filipinos to put behind a divisive issue that has threatened to stir more political unrest and stall economic growth.
â€œIt is time to put behind us this divisive episode of impeaching the President. It is time to embrace a period of healing and reconciliation for the nation,â€ de Venecia said.
The session that began at shortly after 4 p.m. Monday was the longest in the House since 1987 when Congress was reopened after being padlocked by martial law in 1972.
De Venecia said the House is poised to prioritize three major measures namely, the anti-terrorism and housing bill, the proposed P1-trillion budget measure and Charter reform, the â€œmother of all reforms,â€ when it resumes session on Sept. 19 after a nine-day break.
â€œWe are moving to the next battle to approve the proposed national budget, the anti-terrorism and housing bills and constitutional reform,â€ de Venecia said.
De Venecia said the country urgently needs constitutional reform to shift the country from the divisive and gridlock-prone presidential system to a unicameral parliamentary system and a federal structure.
In his vote to affirm the committee report, de Venecia said, â€œPresident Arroyo is still the countryâ€™s best option. We still have no suitable alternative to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as president of the Philippines.â€
De Venecia said the Justice committee â€œdid wisely in dismissing the complaintsâ€ and sending the impeachment case to the Senate would further divide the country. â€œThere would be continuing damage to the economy and to our nation.â€œ
The voting followed more than three hours of interpellation after the sponsorship speeches of Rep. Simeon Datumanong, chairman of the Justice committee, and Rep. Marcelino Libanan, its vice chair as they formally presented Committee Report 1012 and House Resolution 933.
The Committee moved to dismiss the verified complaints for the impeachment of President Arroyo filed by lawyer Oliver Lozano and lawyer Jose Lopez for alleged betrayal of public trust and the amended complaint filed by House Minority Leader Francis Escudero et all for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery, graft and corruption and betrayal of public trust.
Escudero and Rep. Allan Peter Cayetano clashed with Datumanong and Rep. Luis Villafuerte on the committeeâ€™s main findings, conclusions and recommendations.
Fifty-one members of the Justice committee belonging to the majority coalition signed the committee report and resolution.
Appropriations Chairman Rolando Andaya stressed that after all the heated debates â€œall should not end here.â€ â€œWe all have the duty to our country. We must go on with our mandate to work harder and together for the sake of our people.â€
Deputy Majority Leader Arthur Defensor said â€œthey (pro-impeachment) have lost the vote and the Constitution dictates that they must wait for one year to resurrect any similar case against the President.â€
The marathon voting was the longest in the history of the House. It was preceded by more than five hours of â€œprivilege hourâ€ in which eight pro-impeachment solons made a final effort to muster 79 signatures to keep the impeachment bid alive.
Those who voted yes were:
Abalos, Abante, Abayon, Ablan, Abubakar, Albano, Alfelor, Almario, Alvarez (Antonio), Alvarez (Genaro), Amante, Amatong, Amin, Andaya, Antonino, Apostol, Aquino (Rey), Arbison, Arroyo (Iggy), Badelles, Banaag, Barinaga, Baterina, Bersamin, Bondoc, Bravo, Bueser, Bulut, Cabilao, Cagas, Cajes, Cari, Carlos, Carmona, Castelo-Daza, Castro, Celeste, Cerilles, Chatto, Chavez, Chungalao, Clarete, Codilla, Cua (Guillermo), Cua (Junie), Cuenco, Dadivas, Dangwa, Datumanong, De Guzman, de Venecia, Defensor (Arthur), Defensor (Matias), del Mar, Diaz, Dimaporo, Dominguez, Domogan, Duavit, Dumarpa, Dumpit, Durano, Dy (Consuelo), Dy (Faustino), Ecleo, Ermita-Buhain, Espina, Espino, Espinosa (Edgar), Espinosa (Emilio), Estrella, Falcon, Figueroa, Firmalo, Floirendo, Fua, Garcia (Albert), Garcia (Vincent), Gidaya, Gonzalez, Gozos, Gullas, Hizon, Ipong, Jala, Jalosjos-Carreon (Cecilia), Jalosjos (Cesar), Jaraula, Javier, Joaquin, Joson, Kintanar, Lacson, Lagbas, Lagman, Lapus, Libanan, Macarambon, Madamba, Magsaysay (Eulogio), Magsaysay (Ma. Milagros), Malanyaon, Mangudadatu, MaraÃ±on, Mercado, Miranda, Mitra, Nantes, Nepomuceno, Nicolas, Nieva, Nograles, OlaÃ±o, Ortega, Pablo, Pichay, Puentevella, Puno, Ramiro, Real, Remulla (Jesus Crispin), Rodriguez, Roces, Romualdo, Roquero, Salapuddin, Salceda, Sandoval, Seachon-Lanete, Silverio, Singson, Solis, Soon-Ruiz, Suarez, Sumulong, Susano, Sy-Alvarado, Syjuco, TaliÃ±o-Santos, Teodoro, Teves, Tomawis, Tulagan, Unico, Umali (Aurelio), Uy (Edwin), Valdez, Valencia, Vargas, Velarde, Veloso, Villafuerte, Villarosa, Violago, Wacnang, Zamora (Manuel), Zalcita, and Zubiri.
Those who voted no:
Abad, Abaya, Acosta, Agarao, Aguja, Alcala, Angara, Antonino-Custodio, Aquino (Agapito), Aquino (Benigno III), Bacani, Barbers, Beltran, Biazon, CasiÃ±o, Cayetano, Chipeco, Escudero, Fabian, Fuentebella, Golez, Guingona, Hataman, Hontiveros-Baraquel, Jaworski, Locsin, Lopez (Ruy Elias), Magtubo, Mamba, Mandanas, Marcoleta, Mariano, Martinez, Maza, Noel, Ocampo, Paras, Pingoy, Plaza, Remulla (Gilbert), Reyes (Edmund), Roman, Rosales, SeÃ±eres, Suplico, TaÃ±ada, Umali (Alfonso), Villanueva, Villar, Virador, and Zamora (Ronaldo)
Those who abstained:
Baculio, Biron, Crisologo, Dilangalen, Garin, Lopez (Jaime)
Those who failed to vote:
Agbayani, Asistio, Bautista, Chiongbian, Cojuangco (Carlos), Cojuangco (Mark), Imperial, Macapagal-Arroyo, Macias, Malapitan, Marcos, Miraflores, Pancho, Petilla, Ponce-Enrile, Reyes (Victoria), Santiago, Serapio, Uy (Reynaldo), and Yapha.
Source: Public Relations and Information Department, House of Representatives