Majority Leader: No suspension for Arroyo without House majority vote
MANILA, Philippines – In the event that the Sandiganbayan suspends former President now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from office over a petition from government prosecutors, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said on Wednesday that they would not implement it.
He said, through a text message, that Arroyo could not be suspended without a majority vote from all the members of the House of Representatives.
Furthermore, Gonzales said that Arroyo’s pending graft charges were on acts she allegedly committed “before she became a congresswoman and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of the ethics committee.”
He said that they could only act on “misconduct in office committed during her incumbency as the member of the House of Representatives. “
“This is in compliance with the Constitution. Hence, even if the Sandiganbayan suspends her, it will not be implemented by the House,” Gonzales said.
Prosecutors on Tuesday filed a petition calling for the former president’s suspension from the House, using as basis the two pending graft charges against her. They said that a preventive suspension was mandated under the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Arroyo is currently under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center for the nonbailable case of electoral sabotage.
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