9rbet casino OK, who started that naughty talk about the impeachment of Vice President Sara Duterte?
No one will admit it in the House of Representatives, where smoke usually indicates the presence of fire.
Knowing that impeachment is a game of numbers, the tiny genuine opposition bloc couldn’t have created the spark, although it was ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro who was first quoted by the media about it. She later clarified that the discussions were “informal” and an impeachment initiative at this point is “premature.”
Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel confirmed last week that there were indeed such talks, which he said prompted the Makabayan bloc to discuss the prospects for its success.
Despite the denials all around, the story had people scrambling to find out who takes over in case the vice presidency becomes vacant.
Section 9, Article VII of the Constitution states: “Whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the Vice President during the term for which he was elected, the President shall nominate a vice president from among the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, who shall assume office upon confirmation by a majority vote of all the members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately.”
In 2001, after EDSA Dos presented the presidency on a silver platter to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, she picked senator Teofisto Guingona as her VP.
The constitutional provision has triggered speculation that some folks want VP Sara’s position, which is just a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Officially, the House leaders dismissed the story as “fake news.”
But people likened the denial to former president Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that he is not fomenting destabilization, even as he admits meeting with retired military and police officers. In the next breath, he issues a warning to “you who are conniving in Congress,” to “watch the military and the police closely.”
* * *
The connivers apparently refer to Speaker Martin Romualdez and Castro, whom Duterte has tagged as a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Duterte believes Romualdez has been wooing the support of different sectors including the left in preparation for his presidential bid in 2028, while at the same time neutralizing the likely strongest rival, VP Sara.
Daughterte, after haughtily firing off that salvo against an unnamed tambaloslos, appears to have retreated, leaving her father to fight her battles.
The emerging political alliance with the Reds, Duterte says, is causing “uneasiness” among government forces who have lost many colleagues in the counterinsurgency campaign.
His warning was issued as the talks swirled about his daughter’s possible impeachment. Certainly, the House super majority has the numbers to send an impeachment complaint against VP Sara to the Senate.
The mood in the House can be surmised from the exodus from Rody Duterte’s party the PDP-Laban to Lakas-CMD, the party of Romualdez, and President Marcos’ mega panalo casino Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.
Manuel, however, said the Makabayan bloc noted the obvious: if Sara Duterte will be impeached over the P125 million in confidential funds that she requested for her first six months as VP, and spent in just 11 days in December last year, the approving authority (and source of the funds) will have to be included in the complaint. This happens to be another impeachable official – the President himself.
This can render the impeachment of the VP into a move leading to MAD – mutually assured destruction – of the warring Duterte and Marcos / Romualdez clans.
So perhaps the House denials of the impeachment talk are genuine, and the idea was floated simply to annoy the Dutertes. Tit for tat for Rody Duterte annoying the Romualdez-led House with his continuing tirades, and now vague warnings about military and police unrest.
Romualdez has said he’s “not aware of anything. Nothing filed, no news of that… there’s nothing in the offing, nothing in general.”
* * *
On Friday night, Romualdez, who is with his cousin BBM as usual in the latest overseas trip, released a carefully worded statement addressing Duterte’s broadsides. Significantly, there was no categorical denial that Romualdez is eyeing the presidency.
Instead he urged everyone to focus on the challenges faced by the nation and called for “collective efforts” to address pressing problems, stressing that elections are not the answer to a hungry stomach.
“Regarding my personal political aspirations, I am currently committed to my role as Speaker and serving the needs of our nation. My focus is on the present responsibilities and not on future electoral possibilities,” Romualdez stated.
He acknowledged the “valuable contributions” of Rody Duterte and maintained he is “grateful for the former president’s engagement with the political discourse, and I understand the curiosity surrounding the 2028 elections.”
VP Sara, asked about her political plans, said over the weekend: “I never really aspired to run for vice president, much more for president.” But she did run for VP.
Rodrigo Duterte has openly expressed suspicion that the criminal complaint for grave threats filed against him by Castro bears the fingerprint of Romualdez.
If that sounds outrageous, there is also speculation, generated by the worsening rift within the UniTeam, that even the release on bail of former senator Leila de Lima, although ordered by a regional trial court, was aimed at spiting Rodrigo Duterte.
Even former opposition senator Antonio Trillanes is now suspected of forging an alliance with the administration, to serve as another thorn in the Dutertes’ side.
All these realignments shouldn’t be surprising in our rambunctious democracy. We know that politics is addition; politics makes strange bedfellows. What’s (mildly) surprising is that the intramurals are happening this early.
Some folks have warned that VP Sara, whose survey ratings remain high despite the recent double-digit plunge, could suffer the fate of former vice president Jejomar Binay, who made no secret of his plan to seek the presidency. At the rate the UniTeam intramurals are going, however, both the VP and the Speaker can end up bloodied on the road to 2028.
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