Friday, August 25, 2006

The Second Impeachment...part one

The victory was decisive--- 173 votes cast to junk the impeachment complaint, 32 votes to uphold it, and 1 abstention. True, there is no doubt that the second impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was dead.

In fact, as one administration congressman put it, it was a “cadaver of a complaint”, dead on arrival at the footsteps of the House of Representatives. You have to hand it to this congressman. He displayed such flair and mastery of the language as to how he described the complaint—“lifeless complaint for impeachment”…. “What we heard from its endorsers were funeral orations”….“classic case of suicide”…“complaint killed itself”…he seems to have a fetish for death, savoring every moment whenever he relates the impeachment to loss of life. I wouldn’t be surprised if he experiences orgasm at the very thought of the “cadaver of a complaint”.

Even before the first bang of the gavel, the second impeachment complaint was doomed to the fate of the complaint filed in 2005. Statements from administration stalwarts prior to the hearings of the Committee on Justice shamelessly proclaimed the eventual dismissal of the complaint. The reason why it became a “cadaver of a complaint” was that its life was stifled by those who were supposed to be entrusted by the Constitution to give it an opportunity to at least gasp for breath and say its last words.

Even the death convict is given that opportunity before his life is extinguished.

It was a foregone conclusion. Perhaps that is the reason why the interpellations prior to the voting deteriorated to the character of a street corner debate amongst drunks instead of an exchange between “distinguished” and “honorable” gentlemen. The arrogance of the sponsors of the committee report was not unnoticeable even to the general public, which was revealed to me when one of my constituents asked, “sir, bakit ho kung magsalita at sumagot yung mga matatandang congressman na yan ay parang walang kinatandaan?”.

The majority did not see the need for any debate. They did not want to listen to what the endorsers of the impeachment have to say. The only arsenal of the minority in this arena is the spirit, logic and reason of their arguments in favor of the impeachment.

In a democracy, it is true that the majority rules. As it has been said repeatedly by the anti-impeachment personalities, it is a “numbers game”, that as long as you have the numbers, you win the game. But the true essence of democracy is not a simple headcount. The true spirit of democracy is allowing your opponent to speak and for you to LISTEN to and CONSIDER what he has to say. While you uphold the principles and advocacies you believe in, you still open yourself to be convinced by the other side.

In that ideal situation, ideas prevail instead of personalities. Reason is given a chance over stubborn bull-headedness. It ensures that what is upheld is the IDEA that is supported by the most number of people, not the PERSON supported by the most number of allies.

The mockery and high-handedness these veteran legislators displayed against the young members of congress struggling in their fight for principles betrayed their callousness and pride. They have outlived their idealism and miserably failed to present themselves as sources of inspiration and guidance to the younger generation of leaders. It is a pity that instead of being looked up to by the youth, these old timers now represent what the new generation seeks to reform. Instead of being guides and partners to the young, they serve as the tormentors.

To be continued...

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