Explanation of Vote on the Articles of Impeachment
Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao
March 21, 2011 / Session Hall, House of Representatives
Ginoong speaker, ipinagdiriwang natin sa araw na ito ang ating unang hakbang sa pagtahak natin ng landas ng pagbabago.
Hindi kailanman naging usapin ng paghihiganti ang articles of impeachment na pinagbobotohan natin ngayon. To reduce this as a case of personal vendetta is a big mistake. As an endorser of the first complaint, we have repeatedly called on the Ombudsman to use her powers to correct official abuse. Despite the manifest biases of the Merceditas Gutierrez against anti-Arroyo groups, we have never remiss in seeking the remedies that the Ombudsman should provide.
Pero hindi tinupad ni Merceditas Gutierrez ang kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin at mandato. Pinagtaksilan nya ang tiwala ng mamamayan na ang kanyang opisina ang sumbungan ng sambayanan at taga-bantay laban sa pang-aabuso.
She instead abused her powers to extend protection to public officials who routinely violate the law for their private interests. She became a defender of the corrupt.
The articles of impeachment that we are about to transmit to the Senate demonstrate an institution damaged by Merceditas Gutierrez. It shows a pattern of incompetence and abuse that has festered and has made a monster out of an institution that should have been the protector of the people and the defender of our constitution. The political crisis that we have experienced for nine years could have been prevented had Merceditas Gutierrez fulfilled her duties. She could have at the very least mitigated the damage caused by an illegitimate government founded on deception, greed and abuse.
But that is not what Merceditas Gutierrez did. That’s not her narrative. Ang naging kwento nya ay kung papano naging bantay salakay ang bantay ng bayan. She is very much part – in fact she is one of the creators – of the climate of abuse and impunity that marked the previous administration.
Napabalita na may mga grupo na iniisa-isa daw ang mga mambabatas para bumoto laban sa articles of impeachment. Why is Merci resorting to trickery again? We gave her the chance to present her side and yet she acted like a cornered rat and resorted to her usual habit of traditional politics and official thuggery.
Mister Speaker, tapos na araw ng ganitong uri ng pambabastos. I vote yes to the impeachment articles, and if I have to endorse it again and again i will do so, because the only way we can reverse the damage caused by the previous administration to our democracy is by this supreme act of accountability. We began this term with a strong anti-corruption mandate, and the only way we could fulfill that mandate is by impeaching Merci.
Tanggalin na natin ang pinakamalaking balakid sa landas na matuwid. I vote yes Mister Speaker. At Ginang Ombudsman, handa ka man o hindi, magkita-kita tayo sa Senado.