Senator Kiko Pangilinan seeks to introduce amendments to impeachment rules to expedite trial

March 31, 2011

Press Release
March 31, 2011

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan filed Senate Resolution 441 which would allow “the Senators to immediately vote on whether or not the impeachment is sustained when the presentation of evidence and arguments by the parties on one article of impeachment is completed; and if the impeachment shall not be sustained by the votes of two-thirds of all the Members, the presentation of evidence for the next article of impeachment shall commence accordingly.”
Pangilinan says the amendments proposed seek to make the impeachment trial of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez more efficient in the usage of both time and resources of the Senate. “Based on records of previous impeachment trial, it took the Senate nearly three months to cover two of four articles. With six articles, it is possible that the trial could drag on for a year, thereby affecting the entire legislative performance of the Senate.”
According to the rules of impeachment, “In the event that the prosecutors from the House of Representatives prove the case against Ombudsman Gutierrez in only one of the six articles, she will be formally removed from public office.” Pangilinan says that therefore, the Senate need not vote on all six articles of impeachment. If the Ombudsman has been convicted of one of the articles, the Senate may decide that subsequent votes on the remaining articles are unnecessary.