Se­nate leader: Im­peach­ment won’t de­lay pri­or­ity bills

Business World - - THE NATION - — Mario M. Ban­zon

SE­NATE PRES­I­DENT Aquilino Martin L. Pimentel III said on Thurs­day, Oct. 12, there will be no de­lay in the cham­ber’s pas­sage of pri­or­ity bills iden­ti­fied by Mala­cañang, de­spite the ad­di­tional work of con­duct­ing an im­peach­ment trial on Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec) Chair­man An­dres D. Bautista.

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon im­peached Mr. Bautista after he an­nounced that morn­ing his res­ig­na­tion, which has yet to be ac­knowl­edged by the Com­elec and by the Palace.

‘CALENDAR TOO TIGHT’

With that devel­op­ment, “The de­lib­er­a­tions on the pro­posed 2018 na­tional bud­get and the TRAIN (Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion) Act will have to take a back­seat once the Se­nate be­gins the im­peach­ment trial against Chair­man Andy Bautista,” Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Franklin M. Drilon said in a state­ment on Thurs­day, re­fer­ring to the two most ur­gent mea­sures be­ing pushed by the Palace as a foun­da­tion of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo R. Duterte’s eco­nomic pro­gram.

“The im­peach­ment trial is a con­sti­tu­tional duty that the Se­nate is bound to per­form with­out any de­lay. We should give it the high­est pri­or­ity,” Mr. Drilon said in his state­ment, cit­ing Sec­tion 3 (4) of Ar­ti­cle XI of the Con­sti­tu­tion: “In case the ver­i­fied com­plaint or res­o­lu­tion of im­peach­ment is filed by at least one-third of all the Mem­bers of the House, the same shall con­sti­tute the Ar­ti­cles of Im­peach­ment, and trial by the Se­nate shall forth­with pro­ceed.”

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