Senator on Ombudsman impeachment: Why so fast?
MANILA, Philippines—Why so fast?
This was one of the questions that members of the prosecution team, Senator Gregorio Honasan said, have to answer when they present their impeachment case against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to the Senate, which will serve as an impeachment court.
The House of Representatives, voting 212-46, voted to impeach the Ombudsman in just one sitting Monday night.
“Why so fast? How will this impact on the entire evidence that they will present before us? These are the questions that will be raised when they face us,” Honasan said over the phone on Tuesday.
“What happened in the House was both bad and good,” he said.
Bad because he said it created an impression that the impeachment was railroaded and good because the House expeditiously acted on the issue, preventing any delays in their legislative work and other more important problems of the country.
But Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero said he was not prepared to say that the process was railroaded in the House since its rules, unlike the Senate, allows one voting in all six articles of impeachment against the Ombudsman.
In the Senate, Escudero said, senator-judges will vote on each article of impeachment separately.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III confirmed this.
In fact, Sotto pointed out that based on the existing impeachment rules of the Senate, only one articles of impeachment was enough to impeach an impeachable officer, like the Ombudsman.
“You must be acquitted in all six articles of impeachment, because a guilty verdict in one articles of impeachment was enough to impeach an impeachable officer,” he further said.
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