Half of Phl's presidents faced impeachment raps
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2014 - 5:17pm

MANILA, Philippines - Nearly half of the country's appointed and elected presidents faced impeachment complaints.

The Philippine constitutions had vested the impeachment power to  Congress. After a respondent is impeached by the House of Representatives, the complaint will then be submitted to the Senate for trial. If a respondent is convicted by the Senate, the official is then removed from office. If the official is acquitted, then the impeachment  complaint is dismissed, and the respondent will remain in office.

Although President Benigno  Aquino III is now facing two impeachment complaints at the House of Representatives over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), he could be comforted by the fact that out of the 15 presidents that the Philippines has had, seven had actually faced impeachment complaints. 

Here is the list of Philippine presidents who faced impeachment complaints:

1. Elpidio Quirino  was the first president of the Philippines to face an impeachment complaint. Quirino in 1949 was accused of using government funds for the lavish refurbishment  and renovation of Malacañang. Another basis for the complaint was the alleged involvement of Quirino in diamond smuggling. The complaint was eventually dismissed by a Congressional committee for lack of merit.

2. Diosdado Macapagal in 1964 faced an impeachment complaint for various offenses including illegally importing rice to court the public's support in the polls and illegally dismissing officials. He was also accused of using the military to intimidate the opposition as well as ordering the deportation of an American trader who was placed under Congress custody.  The charges were also dismissed by a congressional committee.

3. A year before he was ousted in a popular uprising in 1986, an impeachment complaint was filed by 56 lawmakers against President Ferdinand Marcos. The complaint alleged that Marcos committed graft and economic plunder. he was also charged fpr  having unexplained wealth, and granting monopolies to his cronies, among others.  The following day, however, the Marcos-controlled National Assembly threw out the complaint for lack of basis.

4. President Corazon Aquino faced an impeachment complaint in 1988 for alleged graft and violation of the 1987 Constitution. Like other impeachment complaints against her predecessors, the impeachment proceedings did not prosper owing to lack of evidence.

5. Perhaps the most controversial impeachment complaint was against President Joseph Estrada in 2000 or two years after he assumed the presidency. Among others, he was accused of pocketing jueteng payola, having unexplained wealth, using his influence to favor several his businessmen friends, and culpable violation of the Constitution, among others.

A walkout of the prosecution team following the Senate members' vote to disallow the opening of a second envelope, which purportedly contained a piece of evidence against Estrada, sparked  a rally at the EDSA shrine and the eventual withdrawal of support of various government and military officials to Estrada's government leading to the latter's ouster.

6. In her nine years as president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the subject of four impeachment complaints in 2005, 2006, 2007 , and 2008. These complaints were mainly based on allegations that she cheated in the 2004 presidential polls. The 2008 complaint also cited various allegations of corruption against her including the NBN-ZTE deal, Northrail project,  and Fertilizer scam, among others.

All these complaints were eventually dismissed by a congressional committee.

7. So far, President Benigno Aquino III is facing two impeachment complaints stemming from allegations that he violated the Constitution for transferring DAP funds from project to project "on his mere whim."

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