Press Release
October 18, 2007


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today held the view that the House of Representatives can validly accept and give due course to the impeachment complaint that the United Opposition will file against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo even if the first complaint filed by lawyer Roel Pulido has already been referred to the House committee on justice.

Pimentel said UNO is justified in initiating "a more substantial" impeachment complaint considering that the first one is considered weak and therefore has little chance of succeeding.

He said he does not subscribe to the position of the majority coalition in the House that a second impeachment complaint could not be entertained on the ground that the House rules provide there should only be one impeachment case against a constitutional official within a year.

Pimentel pointed out that even in ordinary criminal proceedings, a complaint can be amended until the accused has pleaded guilty or not guilty to the charges against him.

"So I would assume the same principle would apply to the impeachment proceedings. The President has not yet even replied to the impeachment complaint and therefore it may still be amended," he told the Kapihan sa Senado.

"And so all this talk about the first impeachment complaint as if it were written in stone is not necessarily true. It is not like the Ten Commandments that were handed over to Moses at Mount Sinai."

Pimentel noted a statement of Atty. Pulido that he is willing to withdraw his impeachment complaint if the UNO will proceed with the filing of its own complaint. He said if Pulido will make good on his word, then this will automatically remove a possible legal impediment to the consideration of the impeachment complaint that will emanate from the UNO.

Pimentel said he is not in a position to say whether the Pulido impeachment complaint is weak because he has not seen it.

"Unfortunately, I myself has not read it. So I am not sure from what I heard in the media that the impeachment complaint is weak and that it was meant to preclude the filing of a more substantial impeachment complaint against the President," he said.

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