Delivered by Marinduque Rep. Edmund O. Reyes, Jr. on August 31, 2005 before the House Committee on Justice hearing of the Impeachment Complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Mr. Chairman, has the truth been reduced to 79 signatures?
Ang katotohanan ba ay katumbas lamang ng pitumpu’t siyam na lagda?
This is the question we endorsers have in our hearts and minds. Kasama po ako sa majority at kapartido ng administrasyon. I did not join as a complainant or even an early endorser to the amended complaint because I was assured that the process in the Justice committee will allow for the truth to come out.
Totoo bang nagsinungaling ang ating Presidente?
Totoo bang nandaya ang ating Presidente?
Totoo bang nagnakaw ang ating Presidente?
Mga simpleng tanong na kailangan ng diretsahang sagot.
About three months ago, Secretary Bunye presented two versions of what is now known as the “Gloriagate tapes.” This triggered a series of street protests, withdrawal of support, and clamor for the President’s resignation or removal from office.
Since that time, the President admitted to her “lapse in judgment,” and asked that these issues be heard and resolved in Congress.
Congress is the venue of choice of our President. It is unfortunate that in her venue of choice, truth has a price. And the price of truth in this House is 79!
The argument raised by the majority is that 79 signatures would resolve the issue. The minority has no right to complain of the technicalities raised by the majority without 79 signatures. No evidence can be presented without 79 signatures!
If this premise of the majority is the true interpretation of our Constitution and extent of the duty of Congress in impeachment proceedings, then the case was lost from the beginning. If Congress requires 79 signatures before evidence is heard, what then is the role of Congress in the determination of form and substance in impeachment proceedings? For with 79 signatures, the complaint would be directly transmitted to the senate.
All that the pro-impeachment group had been asking is a chance before the Justice Committee to uncover evidence to allow our House to make a fair and just resolution of these most pressing issues. But they are denied this simple request on grounds that defy logic and common sense.
Last August 23, four majority congressmen, Ace Barbers, Dodot Jaworski, Gilbert Remulla and myself, noticed that the majority were using sheer numerical superiority to prevent the truth from coming out under the guise of legal technicalities. This was later confirmed by no less than our Speaker Jose De Venecia, that the plan of the majority was to kill the impeachment complaint before our President goes abroad in September.
Yesterday, our worst fears started to unfold before the eyes and ears of millions.
Before we push our people to the wall and leave them with no alternative, I ask you, members of the Justice Committee, to consolidate all the complaints, consider their form and substance in this single proceeding, and allow the evidence to be brought out and examined so that a just and acceptable resolution to this issue can be made.
I ask you to help us bring out the truth because it is the right thing to do. Everyone should be entitled to the truth. The truth should be free!
And for those who still insist that the truth in this house carries the price of 79 signatures, let me say this. The Secretary General has an official tally of 50 endorsers.
I have two envelopes with me this afternoon.
The first envelope contains the names of 23 congressmen and women who have committed to endorse the amended complaint as soon as a total of 79 signatures have been obtained or committed.
You know who you are my dear colleagues and we will stick to the agreement not to reveal your names unless the 79 is reached.
This brings our total to 73 signatures or commitments to sign.
For the truth to come out the Filipino people need SIX more MEMBERS OF THIS HOUSE to endorse this amended complaint. JUST SIX MORE.
Are only 73 members of this House of Representatives on the side of the truth?
IS THERE ANYONE ELSE?
IS THERE NO ONE ELSE?
WALA NA BANG IBANG PIPIRMA PARA SA KATOTOHANAN?
IS THERE NO ONE ELSE?
Thank you for giving me time Mr. Chairman. I will leave the second envelope behind, it contains more than enough blank endorsements for any member of the House who wishes to sign for the truth to come out.