Oct 242014


Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA3391 2005-07-25 08:28 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 003391



E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/25/2015


¶B. MANILA 3367
¶C. MANILA 3326
¶D. MANILA 3319

Classified By: Political Officer Timothy Cipullo for
Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: The Opposition filed amended impeachment
charges in the House of Representatives against President
Arroyo early July 25. The Opposition complaint charges that
Arroyo betrayed public trust, violated the Constitution, and
engaged in corrupt practices. The impeachment complaint did
not obtain the requisite number of endorsements needed to
move the matter immediately to the Senate. Instead, the
House Committee of Justice will review it for up to 60 days.
Malacanang has confirmed that last week it filed a response
denying all charges in the original impeachment complaint
filed against Arroyo. The impeachment charges are complex
and will take time for the House to digest. End Summary.

¶2. (U) Forty members of the House of Representatives, led by
opposition Congressmen Ronaldo Zamora and Francis Escudero,
endorsed an amended impeachment complaint against President
Arroyo early July 25. The complaint is very detailed, and
accuses Arroyo of “betrayal of public trust,” “culpable
violation” of the Constitution, and “bribery, graft and
corrupt practices” during her tenure at Malacanang. The
complaint highlights alleged illegalities involved in
President Arroyo’s audio taped discussions with an election
official in the aftermath of the May 2004 elections and
allegations that members of her family engaged in jueteng
profiteering. The motion builds upon a complaint filed by
private citizen Oliver Lozano just before the House of
Representatives went into recess last month (see reftels).
(Note: With President Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address
late July 25, the House and Senate begin a new session. End

¶3. (C) The Opposition fell short of garnering the 79
signatures (1/3 of the members of the House) needed to send
the complaint directly to the Senate. Instead, it will be
referred to the House Justice Committee, which will determine
whether it is sufficient in form and substance. The
Committee has 60 session days to act on the complaint, after
which the House will vote on whether to send the complaint to
the Senate. (Note: If it is sent to the Senate, senators
will serve as a jury reviewing the charges and then will vote
on them. End Note.) Representative Zamora predicted to us
early July 25 that the Opposition will have the necessary 79
votes to send the complaint to the Senate by the time the
House makes its ultimate decision on the matter. Zamora also
asserted to us that Malacanang has bribed members of the
House not to support the impeachment complaint. Malacanang
contacts have asserted to us that they have the votes in the
House to prevent a referral to the Senate and have denied
that they have bribed anyone.

¶4. (U) Malacanang confirmed that on July 19 the President’s
legal counsel submitted anticipatory pleadings in response to
the original impeachment complaint filed by Lozano. The
document denied the original charges. Arroyo’s press
spokesman Ignacio Bunye characterized the decision to file
the anticipatory pleadings as “a clear expression of
(Arroyo’s) willingness to submit to the legal process,” but
he noted that she will defend herself fully. Opposition
members, however, have labeled the move as a legal ploy to
block further amendments to the original complaint, such as
those filed on July 25.

¶5. (C) Comment: The Opposition, which is constantly looking
for ways to ramp up the pressure on Arroyo, clearly wanted to
get the requisite number of signatures needed for an
immediate impeachment referral to the Senate. They were
disappointed in that effort. The Opposition, however, still
has a chance to attain the needed figure, but the impeachment
charges are complex and will take time for the House to
digest. By already filing a response to the initial
complaint, Malacanang is signaling that it will fight the
impeachment effort every step of the way.

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:




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