GMA News Online
News
»
Nation

House panel declares Pulido complaint 'sufficient in form'

November 12, 2007 3:19pm
The House Committee on Justice on Monday declared as sufficient in form the three-page impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo filed by lawyer Roberto Rafael Pulido, radio dzBB reported.

Pulido alleged in his complaint that Mrs Arroyo betrayed the public trust after she allegedly played a role in the $329.48-million national broadband network project with China's Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corp.

The report said Baguio City Rep. Mauricio Domogan moved to have the complaint declared as sufficient in form. The decision came after the committee turned down the 34-page supplemental complaint filed by the United Opposition supposedly to give more teeth to Pulido's complaint.

Laguna Rep. Edgar San Luis defended Pulido's complaint, which the lawmaker earlier endorsed. He said the complaint "was far from being weak and stupid."

"Since we are not yet at the trial stage, it is unreasonable (for the complaint) to contain evidenciary matters ... It is in the Senate trial where documents are presented, and where the impeachable act is elicited, and proof beyond reasonable doubt is established," San Luis said.

Walk out

DzBB said minority congressmen and opposition leaders walked out from the session after the House justice panel voted 28-8 junking Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto Guingona III's request to disqualify lawmakers implicated in the bribery scandal from participating in the committee hearings.

During the deliberations, administration lawmakers rejected the motion for reconsideration filed by Adel Tamano, spokesman of the Genuine Opposition who filed the supplemental complaint. The said lawmakers also ignored calls urging them to inhibit from the deliberations.

Congressmen Guingona III, Marlen Abigail Binay (Makati), Satur Ocampo and Teodoro CasiƱo (Bayan Muna), Crispin Beltran (Anakpawis), Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan (Gabriela), Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro) and Salvador Escudero III (Sorsogon) participated in the walkout.

"They are now in the Minority office to assess what had happened," said Vince Borneo, Bayan Muna public information officer.

Quezon City Rep. Matias Defensor told reporters that committee members will meet again on Wednesday to determine if Pulido's complaint is sufficient in substance.

The panel will also decide if it will allow Pulido to speak out during the session, an issue earlier raised by Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Antonio Cerilles.

In his complaint, Pulido alleged that Mrs Arroyo betrayed the public trust after she allegedly played a role in the $329.48-million national broadband network (NBN) project with China's Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corp.

Pulido said Mrs Arroyo knew about the "illegal and corrupt machinations undertaken by high government officials" to secure the NBN project, but she did not do anything about it.

The Pulido complaint added that while President Arroyo was informed by former socioeconomic planning secretary Romulo Neri that a P200-million bribe was dangled for the approval of the NBN deal, the chief executive did not take action against it.

Pulido also cited in his complaint the testimony of businessman Jose "Joey" de Venecia III before the Senate about the alleged bribe offers of resigned elections chair Benjamin Abalos. - with a report from Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV