‘He knows GMA’s involvement because he was there’
Will the endorsement by former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. boost the chances of this year’s impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? Deputy House Minority Leader and Bayan Muna (People First) Rep. Satur Ocampo, one of the original endorsers of the complaint together with fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Liza Maza, believes so.
BY ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
Will the endorsement by former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. boost the chances of this year’s impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?
Deputy House Minority Leader and Bayan Muna (People First) Rep. Satur Ocampo, one of the original endorsers of the complaint together with fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Liza Maza, believes so.
“If De Venecia’s testimony is convincing enough, his followers in the Lakas-CMD could be led to support the impeachment complaint, if not at the level of the Committee on Justice, then at the plenary,” Ocampo said in an interview. “Assuming we cannot get the required 1/3 of the House membership to endorse the complaint before deliberations are concluded, or the committee recommends that the impeachment complaint be rejected, this can be reversed if De Venecia manages to rally enough support.”
De Venecia, formerly a staunch Arroyo ally, expressed his intention to support the fourth impeachment complaint against the President late last month, a few weeks after 19 personalities led by his son, Joey, filed it.
Aside from the younger De Venecia, other signatories to the present impeachment complaint are Edith Burgos, mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos, Erlinda Cadapan, mother of missing UP student Sherlyn Cadapan, former Transportation Sec. Josie Lichauco, Harry Roque, Iloilo Vice Gov. Rolex Suplico, Renato Constantino, Jr., Leah Navarro, Henri Kahn, Francisco Alcuaz, Rez Cortez, Virgilio Eustaquio, Jose”Linggoy” Alcuaz, Danilo Ramos, mother of missing UP student Karen Empeño Concepcion Empeño, KMU’s Elmer Labog, Armando Albarillo, Roneo Clamor, and Bebu Bulchand.
The former House Speaker signed the impeachment complaint earlier this month, during a trip to the US. On Nov. 12, he transmitted his endorsement of the complaint to House Secretary-General Marilyn Yap.
“In December of 1997, a lady came to me and asked me if I could take her as my running mate as I was then running for President,” De Venecia said in a press conference after formally transmitting his endorsement of the impeachment complaint. “So, I asked all those who were aspiring to be my vice presidential candidate to give way. I lost and she won. In 2001, she became President. In 2004, she ran for President and we helped her. When there were serious threats against her administration including the one coming from the Hyatt 10 mass resignation, we helped her.”
“Last year, I wrote her a letter urging her to lead the moral revolution but she declined,” De Venecia continued. “Still, I’m giving her a chance up to now. If she would cleanse her government, fire most of her Cabinet secretaries and rid her administration of corruption, I would personally ask the complainants to forego the impeachment complaint.
“But now, I appear before you to endorse the impeachment complaint against Mrs. Arroyo and I hope the House leadership would give this due consideration.”