March 01, 2008

options

Gloria will not resign. . . willingly, that is. The shrewd trapo that she is, she will not leave the stage she took from Estrada in 2001 without options to protect her. . . and possibly her husband; I'm not really convinced yet that she wouldn't abandon Mike A if push comes to shove.

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Many have been asking about options under the Constitution now that Atty. Lozano and that huge kennel at Commonwealth have totally made impeachment a travesty and a joke. Some that immediately come to mind, not necessarily in order of priority or doability:

1. Resignation (Art. VII, sec. 8)
2. Removal from office (Art. VII, sec. 8), possibly through, but not necessarily limited to, impeachment
3. Voluntary declaration by President of inability to discharge the functions of office (Art. VII, sec. 11)
4. Cabinet action through majority vote (Art. VII, sec. 11)

Section11 is what the Hyatt 10 tried and failed to do.

Sec. 11 provides: "

"Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.

Whenever a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet transmit to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice-President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall reassume the powers and duties of his office. Meanwhile, should a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet transmit within five days to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Congress shall decide the issue. For that purpose, the Congress shall convene, if it is not in session, within forty-eight hours, in accordance with its rules and without need of call.

If the Congress, within ten days after receipt of the last written declaration, or, if not in session, within twelve days after it is required to assemble, determines by a two-thirds vote of both Houses, voting separately, that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice-President shall act as President; otherwise, the President shall continue exercising the powers and duties of his office."

Notably this was also what Erap tried to do before he left the Palace except that it was probably an afterthought.

A voluntary declaration that the President is unable to discharge his office under sec. 11 might be the best option for Gloria; on the other hand, if she refuses to do this, her cabinet might be encouraged to do this--similar to what the Hyatt 10 tried but failed to do.

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What can Gloria be waiting for, many have asked-- a deal, perhaps.

A deal to shield her from any suits (again, Mike A might be incidental to the deal, she probably might just be looking to save herself.) might be what will convince her to just "cut and cut clean."

Its a difficult decision: kick her out but at the same time, not prosecute her. Hmmm, have to think about that.


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