Senate leader: Impeachment won’t delay priority bills
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.”