Is the President Digging Her Own Grave?

The dismissal of the impeachment complaint, he said, would be seen as a manipulation by Malacañang. In that case, it would inevitably force the people to consider extra-constitutional means to settle the issue.

Tañada echoed this, saying, “If they kill the impeachment complaint and this will be seen by the people that she (the president) was not true to her word, then the people might take matters into their own hands as provided for also in the constitution.”

Martinez also warned: “If they kill the impeachment, they should be scared of the people who are righteous.”

In relation to this, Santiago said the middle forces and the masses would find other forms of redress. He also warned that this could drive the middle forces out into the streets similar to how they swarmed along historic Edsa when Estrada allies in the Senate blocked the opening of the “second envelope” during the former president’s impeachment trial in January 2001. The second envelope allegedly carried strong evidence that Estrada received jueteng payola.


What if the impeachment, having garnered 79 signatures, goes to the Senate which, acting as an impeachment court, eventually convicts the president as charged?

In this case, Lim said the vice-president is therefore the most acceptable successor. Both Lim and Teodoro said the strongest possibility is a Noli de Castro takeover save for the slightest possibility that Loren Legarda, vice-presidential candidate, succeeds in her bid to oust de Castro.

Legarda has filed a case against de Castro before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) over allegations that de Castro – like the president – cheated in the May 2004 elections.

But the present administration appears to be derailing the former lady senator’s case as proven by the illegal raid by the CIDG of a house where the opposition’s (and Legarda’s) boxes of evidences of electoral fraud were kept. The evidences were seized but were returned two weeks after.

Whether the ouster of Macapagal-Arroyo would be through legal or extra-legal means, de Castro would be the most likely successor, Lim also said.

Conversely, Teodoro did not rule out the possibility of the president being replaced by a transitional council, the concept of which has been propagated by progressive and multisectoral people’s organizations led by the Bagong Alyangsang Makabayan (Bayan or New Patriotic Alliance).

“Extra-Constitutional options have succeeded in the past and a transitional council, it being such, is also possible,” he said.

But first, Teodoro said, the people should be informed about the council. “Dahil kulang ang kaalaman ng masa, hindi maiiwasan na mayroong matakot. Kaya kailangan ipaliwanag ng husto sa mas malawak na paraan” (Because it is as yet little known, it is possible for some people to fear it. It should be substantially explained to the people.), he said.

“If the idea is disseminated expansively, there would be a widespread acceptance of the transitional council because the people would realize that it is a better alternative,” he said. (

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