Opponents of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo filed a new impeachment complaint against her yesterday over alleged corruption, vote rigging and other crimes, but the government predicted the bid would fail like three previous attempts.
The new complaint consolidates previous and new allegations of corruption and constitutional and human rights violations against Arroyo, said key complainant Jose de Venecia. The new allegations include charges of misconduct in a proposed telecommunications deal involving Chinese company ZTE Corp.
Arroyo, who was swept to power in 2001 after former president Joseph Estrada was ousted by a nonviolent “people power” revolt, has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing in office. She won a six-year term in a regular presidential election in 2004.
Arroyo is the longest serving and the least popular Philippine head of state after dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was overthrown in 1986 after ruling the country for more than two decades.
De Venecia and other complainants tried but failed to file the 97-page impeachment complaint late on Saturday at the House of Representatives because its secretary-general, Marilyn Yap, who receives such complaints, had gone on a foreign trip.
The law allows only one impeachment bid each year against the president and the previous one-year period lapsed last weekend, De Venecia said.
Dozens of complainants led by De Venecia and left-wing groups filed their joint complaint yesterday, when Yap’s replacement assumed office.
They trooped early to the House to make sure that pro-Arroyo groups could not preemptively file a “sham” complaint, De Venecia said.
Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez said the complaint contained recycled allegations that had no chance of success, and accused the complainants of being self-serving when the country needed to brace itself against the impact of the global financial crisis.
“It’s like replaying a movie that never took off,” Golez said.
Arroyo has survived three opposition impeachment bids, which were dismissed on technicalities by her dominant House allies.
At least one-third of the 240-member House would have to back a complaint to impeach Arroyo and send it to the opposition-dominated Senate for trial.
But the opposition controls only 28 House seats.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists