Oct 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/09/05MANILA4140.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA4140 2005-09-05 09:10 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 004140

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/PMBS, EAP/IET, INR/EAP, INR/B, DS
NSC FOR GREEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/06/2015
TAGS: PGOV PINS PINR ASEC RP
SUBJECT: HOUSE QUASHES IMPEACHMENT EFFORT

REF: A. OPS CENTER – MANILA 09/06/2005 TELCON

¶B. MANILA 4040
¶C. MANILA 4019
¶D. MANILA 3994

Classified By: Acting Pol/C Joseph L. Novak for
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: The Philippine House of Representatives has
quashed the Opposition’s impeachment effort against President
Arroyo. In a session concluding late September 6, the vote
in the House to uphold the Justice Committee’s findings
dismissing the complaints against Arroyo was 158 for and 51
against with four abstentions. The Opposition, conceding
defeat in the House, has announced that it now plans to focus
on holding street demonstrations against the government. As
of late September 6, an Opposition rally involving several
thousand people is taking place near Congress in Quezon City,
metro Manila. No violence has been reported. The Opposition
is very frustrated that its impeachment effort is over. Most
neutral observers believe, however, that the public at large
is not similarly engaged and probably will not turn out for
rallies in large numbers. End Summary.

———————————-
End of Road for Impeachment Effort
———————————-

¶2. (U) Meeting in plenary session, the House of
Representatives has quashed the Opposition’s impeachment
effort. In a session concluding late September 6, the vote
in the House to uphold the Justice Committee’s findings
dismissing the complaints against Arroyo was 158 for and 51
against with four abstentions. (Note: Last week, the
Justice Committee dismissed two complaints — including the
Opposition’s comprehensive complaint — on technical grounds.
Another complaint was dismissed because it used evidence
that was ruled out of order — see refs b-d. End Note.) The
voting, which was televised, moved at a glacial pace as each
member went to the well of the House, made a statement and
then voted. By only winding up with 51 votes, the Opposition
did not achieve the 79 or more (one-third of the House
membership) endorsements needed to send the matter to the
Senate for an impeachment trial.

¶3. (U) The debate on the Justice Committee findings began on
September 5. The texture of the debate basically mirrored
the discussions that took place in the Justice Committee in
recent weeks. Pro-Arroyo lawmakers, who are dominant in the
House, used their speeches to defend the President and to
lash out at the Opposition for what they characterized as
“reckless charges.” Opposition members accused the
pro-Arroyo Majority of “stifling discussion” and “trying to
protect a corrupt president from justice.” The Opposition
also claimed that Malacanang Palace was bribing lawmakers to
ensure that they did not break ranks and support the
impeachment effort. Assistants to President Arroyo have
vigorously denied the charges and asked that the Opposition
respect the House’s decision to end the impeachment debate.

—————-
Opposition Rally
—————-

¶4. (U) The Opposition has conceded defeat in its impeachment
effort. Representative Francis Escudero, the House Minority
Leader, stated late September 5 that “We may have lost by not
having the 79 signatures, but this does not mean that Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo has won. The search for truth is not yet
over.” Escudero promised that anti-Arroyo groups would take
their complaints against Arroyo to the streets via a new
round of demonstrations and rallies. Opposition leaders
announced recently that they were forming a new group called
“Bukluran Para sa Katotohanan” (Tagalog for “Coalition for
the Truth”), which would help spearhead these rallies.
Former president Corazon Aquino, Susan Roces (a well-known
former actress and the widow of deceased presidential
candidate Fernando Poe Jr.) and other well-known Opposition
figures have announced their support for the group.

¶5. (SBU) As of late September 6, an Opposition rally is
taking place in Quezon City in the metro Manila area. So
far, no violence has been reported as the estimated 3-4,000
or so participants rally near Congress. Most of the crowd
appears to have links with pro-left groups, according to Pol
FSN who is monitoring the scene. Students and elements of
the mainstream Opposition are also present. Supporters of
Brother Eddie Valenzuela’s “Jesus is Lord” group are in
evidence (Brother Eddie, a former presidential candidate, is
another pro-Opposition figure). Corazon Aquino, Susan Roces
and Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson are leading the rally. In
addition to Brother Eddie, a number of clerics from other
faiths are also participating.
——-
Comment
——-

¶6. (C) After the Justice Committee’s several votes last
week, the September 5-6 events in the House have been
expected and were rather anti-climactic. At this point,
Arroyo has the political edge over her opponents, but a sour
mood prevails. While it basically knew that a negative
result in the full House vote was forthcoming, there is no
doubt that the Opposition is very frustrated that its
impeachment effort is over. Opposition leaders have made
clear that the political turbulence is far from finished and
have promised to continue their campaign against Arroyo.
Despite the Opposition’s best efforts, however, most neutral
observers believe that the public at large is not engaged and
probably will not turn out for rallies in large numbers.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov

JOHNSON

   

 

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