SO IT SEEMS
Although she stands to benefit most in the event that President Rodrigo Duterte is removed from Mala-cañang, we don’t be-lieve Vice President Leni Robredo has a hand in any way in the impeachment com-plaint filed by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano of party-list Magdalo against President Rodrigo Du-terte.
We believe, though, that Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV who are both arch enemies of Duterte in Congress, initiated the move to topple down Digong from power. Trillanes has a history of leading a coup d’etat against a sitting president. While he was in the military service as an officer in the Philippine Navy headed a mutiny to oust then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Trilla-nes is a member of the Magdalo party-list group.
De Lima, on the other hand, has an axe to grind against Duterte for being behind her incarceration for her involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison during her term as secretary of the Department of Justice in the Noynoy Aquino administration.
The feisty senator is detained in the custodial center in Camp Crame, the national headquarters of the Philippine National Police on account a graft case filed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre a graft in court at the behest of President Duterte.
But Alejano does not even have the slimmest chance that his im-peachment case against Duterte, as under the impeachment rules, the case has to be approved by one-third (not three-fourths as earlier stated in this corner) of the total membership of the House of Representatives to be elevated to the Senate which acts the impeach-ment court.
The House is con-trolled by political allies and party-mates of Duter-te, so there is no chance whatsoever to reach even first base. The impeach-ment case is part of the move to destabilize the Duterte administration. Earlier, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez laughed off at Alejano’s filing of an impeachment complaint against Digong confident that the super majority in the bigger chamber of Congress will dump it to the garbage bin.
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, on the other hand said the filers of the impeachment complaint are more after in discrediting the President before the public and the international community than in having him impeached.
“Looking at the numbers (in the House),” Pimentel told the com-plainants sarcastically “good luck.”
Alvarez, nicknamed “Bebot” is a Tagumenyo, while Pimentel hails from Cagayan de Oro, touted as the “City of Golden Friendship.”
For his part, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” who had stood as godfather in Duterte’s baptism of Duterte’s grandson Stonefish last Friday said the filing of the impeachment complaint against Duterte was déjà vu as it reminded of his own experience in 2000 when he was still president. On the third year of his six-year term, Erap was impeached for allegedly receiving jue-teng money in hundreds of millions of pesos from gambling lords in central Luzon.
However, contrary to a report that came out in a major Manila daily the other day, Erap was not ousted from Malacañang. During the impeachment trial by the Senate, the complainants got irked by the way Erap answered the question, so they walked out, triggering their supporters to stage what is now referred to as People Power II.
When the hundreds of protesters were about to enter Malacañang, Es-trada and his family boarded a boat in the Pasig River at the back of the Palace that brought him and his family to his home in San Juan City. But before leaving Malaca-ñang, Erap signed a resignation document. So, in reality Estrada was not ousted from power as he resigned from the presidency.
Not everything that China is doing in the Philippines is good for the country and the Filipinos.
As an offshoot of the state visit of President Duterte to China last year, Chinese capitalist ae building a huge solar power farm in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental which has the potential to provide the renewable energy to the entire Mindanao, even beyond.
The solar power plant under construction in rolling hills in Banaybanay, noted for being the rice granary of the Davao region, has the capacity to produce 300 megawatts to l gigawatts of electricity when completed and becomes operation.
It is said to be the biggest solar power plant in the Philippines, even in the whole world. The hope is that when the solar farm is finished, brownouts to which many southern Mindanaons, especially residents of Tagum City and nearby municipalities within the franchise area of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO) shall have become a thing of the past.
On the downside, China is planning to build permanent structures at the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag) west of Zambales which is clearly part of Philippine territory Scarborough or Panatag is in the heart of a territorial dispute with the Philip-pines.
China’s construction and reclamation work in the South China has drawn criticisms from the United States and other countries which accuse Beijing of further militarizing the region. It will be recalled that a few years ago, the International Court of Arbitration based in the Netherlands ruled that the islands and shoals being claimed by China is with Philippine territorial jurisdiction.
But China which has become a bully in Asia probably brought about by its industrial success did not recognize the inter-national tribunal’s ruling as valid, insisting it has historical claims to almost the entire South China Sea.
China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malay-sia and Brunei have long contested ownership of the South China Sea.