Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Impeachment is a legitimate process in most democratic governments in which officials violating the constitution are tried, investigated and booted out of office. It is part of the principle of checks and balance, ensuring that the three branches of government – executive, legislative and judicial – are functioning within the rule of law.
But it is this very same legitimate process that may lead to a total government shut down in the Philippines. Top legislators are facing impeachment for unlawful use of PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund); the President faces impeachment for unlawful use of DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program); and the Supreme Court Chief Justice faces impeachment for unlawful use of JDF (Judiciary Development Fund). The common denominator of these funds is, of course, taxpayer money.
Three top senators – Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla, Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada are now in jail for alleged participation in the 10 Billion-peso pork barrel scam, while President NoyNoy Aquino faces impeachment complaints after the Philippine Supreme Court ruled that some of his actions under DAP violated the constitution. Now, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Serena herself is being threatened with impeachment in connection with JDF.
“So who is left to run the government?” This question is foremost in the minds of 100 Million Filipinos.
Leading political experts are predicting that with a total government shut down, the country is left with a few options: convert to a monarchy, become a militaristic state or submit to the administrative rule of the Vatican. More tham 86 percent of Filipinos are Catholic.
Incidentally, Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the Philippines next January.