Good luck, Lacson tells Magdalo group
Sen. Panfilo Lacson wished the Magdalo party-list group “good luck” in its move to impeach President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, noting the group that mounted failed coup attempts against the Arroyo administration was now taking the “constitutional way of booting out a sitting President.”
“The Magdalo should not be criticized, much less mocked, for filing the impeachment complaint. At least this time they are not doing an Oakwood,” Lacson said in a text message.
He was referring to the July 27, 2003, occupation of the Oakwood apartments in Makati City by young military officers led by then Navy officer and now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV who demanded the resignation of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for alleged corruption.
For staging the Oakwood mutiny, and the subsequent takeover of the Peninsula Manila Hotel, Rep. Gary Alejano, along with Trillanes and other Magdalo putschists, spent seven years in jail.
Numbers to impeach
In his statement, Lacson said that Alejano, who filed the complaint on Thursday, would have to get the necessary numbers to be able to impeach the President.
The senator reminded the group needed to get a one-third vote of the 292-member House of Representatives for its complaint to be tried in the Senate.
Lacson said the vote of 16 of 24 senators was needed to convict the President.
“All I can say is, without necessarily associating myself with them in the matter of impeaching President Duterte, my simple message is, good luck to them,” he said.
‘No compelling reason’
Sen. JV Ejercito said there was “no compelling reason” to impeach the President.
“It is becoming clear that the recent investigations and hearings at the Senate were really meant for the ouster moves against the President,” he said.
But Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon of the opposition Liberal Party (LP) said impeachment was a political process provided in the Constitution. “We must respect it,” he said.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, the LP president, and other LP members in the Senate, shared Drilon’s position, calling the Magdalo move “part of our constitutional democracy.”
Most senators declined to comment, saying they did not want to prejudge the case that the chamber might be called upon to decide, if it prospered in the House. —WITH A REPORT FROM TARRA QUISMUNDO