Sa mga kagalang galang na kasapi ng Justice Committee, magandang umaga sa inyong lahat.

Ako si Risa Hontiveros, mula sa Akbayan, at isa sa mga complainants ng naunang impeachment complaints.

I wish to thank you all for upholding the rule of law. For the very first time, an impeachment complaint proceeded according to the rules that Congress itself established, in accordance with its mandate and in the exercise of its independence.

The votes that have taken place reflect a reversal of the previous impeachment processes. Simula na ng araw ng paniningil, araw ng hustisya, at araw ng katotohanan.

We have long waited for Ombudsman Merceditas N. Gutierrez’s response to our charges.

Naninawala kami na dapat ma-impeach si Merceditas Gutierrez dahil ginamit nya at patuloy nyang ginagamit ang kanyang kapangyarihan hindi para tuparin ang mandato ng kanyang opisina kundi para bigyan ng proteksyon ang nakaraang administrasyon at ang kanyang mga kaalyado.

Good morning, Mr. Chair, colleagues in the Committee on Justice, ladies and gentlemen.

“Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”

This is the first section of the 1987 Constitution’s Article on Accountability of Public Officers (Article XI).

PUBLIC TRUST - this is the essence of today’s proceedings.

Akbayan Youth on the 25th Anniversary of EDSA and the Marcos burial issue

The corpse of Ferdinand Marcos remains preserved in a mausoleum. It is a spectral remnant of a past that refuses to let go: a time when Marcos fashioned himself to be a leader who used “utopian causes” to centralize power and justify his authoritarianism. 

For Akbayan Youth, Marcos’s corpse is the ultimate metaphor for the society he sought to create: a society that masked social tensions through the sheen of artificial order and discipline.  The EDSA People Power revolution, which we commemorate, was the result of these tensions – tensions Marcos could no longer contain. It was the climax a 25-year struggle of ordinary freedom-loving Filipinos.

A day before the 25th celebration of the historic Edsa people power uprising, members of Akbayan party conducted a “people power protest” in Quezon City calling on the Filipino people to defeat the “enemies of Edsa.”

Donned in yellow shirts, headbands and ribbons, the anti-corruption advocates trooped to the Office of the Ombudsman to call on Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to immediately vacate her position. The group also pressed for the prosecution of former president and now-Pamapanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo together with her family and cronies for their alleged “high crimes” against the people.

Statement of Akbayan Spokesperson Risa Hontiveros on the Decision of the Supreme Court to Continue with the Impeachment Proceedings vs. the Ombudsman

We in Akbayan welcome the decision of the Supreme Court to reject Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez’s petition to spare her from impeachment. It is a step in the right direction in paving the way for the continuation of Congress’s impeachment proceedings and sends a strong signal that all corrupt and erring public officials under the new dispensation will have their day of reckoning.

At a time when those who will benefit from the continuing deficiency of reforms and justice are apparently succeeding in blocking the people’s campaign against corruption, the decision is a welcome respite.

Certainly, dog days are over. The people’s call for accountability and justice has finally caught up with the formerly “untouchable” ombudsman.