Activist archbishop not surprised by junking of impeach raps vs Aquino
MANILA, Philippines—Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz was no longer surprised when the House of Representatives justice committee on Tuesday junked the three impeachment complaints lodged against President Benigno Aquino III.
Cruz was among the signatories of the first impeachment case against Mr. Aquino filed in July by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan before the House of Representatives for culpable violation of the Constitution in the implementation of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program and betrayal of public trust.
“If Congress approved the impeachment complaints as sufficient in form and substance that would have been very strange,” said Cruz in an interview with reporters.
“The impeachment case is always a political game, it’s a numbers game. From the beginning, the people already know that the impeachment complaints will not prosper,” Cruz added, saying some congressmen and senators could be influenced by the President.
“This only proves that the President has both the Senate and Congress in his pocket. It’s as simple as that,” said Cruz. “Those who are in the House are in the pocket of the President, a good number of people in the Senate are also in his pocket. The only thing he could not get in his pocket, but which he would like to, is the Supreme Court. It has long been a done deal—the impeachment complaints will not be approved because of the political system.”
In an interview earlier, Cruz already said that the impeachment cases against President Aquino would not prosper and would merely serve as “symbols of dissatisfaction and anger” over his incompetency to lead the country.
“It is rather clear that the impeachment cases are more symbolic than real because how could an impeachment case, whether it is subscribed or endorsed by this and that congressman, could ever prosper when most of them (legislators) are beneficiaries of the Aquino government?” said Cruz.
“Whether we like it or not, the impeachment cases are but symbols of dissatisfaction, symbols of anger and symbols of being tired of it all,” said Cruz, adding that he knew this when he signed the impeachment case.
“I know that it’s a numbers game so it has basically no hope, no chance unless more and more people will go against Malacañang,” he admitted.
According to the prelate, there is now a new movement pushing for the ouster of the President.
“Whether this will succeed or not I don’t know, but this is definitely more than impeachment,” Cruz said, adding that calls for Mr. Aquino to resign might intensify following the junking of the impeachment complaints.
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