Let us break the sum into its parts.
It is true that an impeachment complaint can only be filed once every anniversary year.
It is also true that there is a pending petition before the Supreme Court questioning the action of the Committee on Justice and also the plenary for dismissing the impeachment complaint last year.
It is not true, however, that because a petition is still pending before the Supreme Court, an impeachment complaint cannot be filed for the simple reason that the Supreme Court has the power to bend its own rules. The High Court can expediently consider that since a new impeachment complaint has already been filed before the House Secretary General which the justices can take judicial notice of, then it may consider the petition before the Supreme Court as motu propio or automatically withdrawn, thus rendering the prior petition as moot and academic.
In the alternative, the Supreme Court may choose to rule on the petition previously filed to finally interpret when a second impeachment complaint is barred and to further refine the ruling they laid down in the Francisco case where they pegged a reckoning point for an initiated impeachment complaint.
Whichever way one looks at the oncoming impeachment complaint, the protestations of Atty. Macalintal is as facile as his previous declaration that a proclamation of a national emergency is no different from a proclamation of a state of calamity. I remember retorting in the ANC’s The World Tonight that a proclamation of a state of calamity does not authorize the president, the military or the police to take over public utilities or the news media outlets.
Atty. Macalintal knows his arguments are weak. But his audience is not the lawyers but the indifferent and the apathetic amongst us. He seeks to raise the specter of doom and gloom with the rise of another impeachment complaint to fester in that lackadaisical audience the spirit of pessimism and hopelessness. He parrots the government line that it is hopeless to file another impeachment complaint simply because there not enough congressmen to send it to the Senate.
Well, as the saying goes, it ain’t over till Congressman Zamora or the fat lady sings. The impeachment complaint this year is no longer a simple wait and see attitude for the congressmen to run and hide. The citizens will make sure that a day of reckoning shall fall on those solons who seek to count the costs and those who have expunged honor and principle from their political vocabulary. 2007 is not far behind. The day of the Lord will be at hand!