IN THE end, the opposition failed to sustain its boast that it could muster the 79 votes needed to impeach President Macapagal-Arroyo as only 51 voted for the resolutions of the House Committee on Justice to be overturned, which would have stirred the dying embers of the impeachment case against the President.

Ultimately, the nature of the impeachment proceedings turned against the ayes; impeachment being political and not judicial, the recent hullabaloo in the House at last was a numbers game, with the opposition 28 votes short. Game over.

If there is any strong case that became manifest and evident in the recent voting at the plenary, it is that the opposition had only been pounding on the proverbial table as they did not have the case or the facts on their side after all. Or simply the numbers, in the first place.

Notably, some pro-impeachment stalwarts like Rep. Imee Marcos were not even there. Which should lead us to ask whether these congressmen were only shouting with the chorus asking for GMA’s ouster or impeachment. Which should lead us to wonder whether they were only using what political tide there was to their own ends and goals, and were out of there when it was evident that the tide would subside.

As we have said all along, impeachment is a political exercise, and while it is a Constitutional way to compel a change in government, it’s hardly the agency to establish the truth. The truth has to be depoliticized because it has been tainted and sullied by politicians with their own narrow agendas.

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Now, Senate doomsayer Aquilino Pimentel says that GMA may have won the battle, but the war will go on and may return to the streets. When will this ever end? But it has been that way from the start—the opposition declaring things disproportionately and exaggeratedly, and finding excuses or other reasons to blame the government should their predictions hold untrue.

The only strong case out of these events is one that points to the impeachment move as a destabilization plot against the administration, when the street parliament, or attempts at it, failed miserably. What else would we think, after what the opposition has shown is only that it is riding and depending on the clamor of the masses in the streets, who are not necessarily informed as to the entire story?

What else would we think when the opposition founded its case on wiretapped conversations allegedly showing the President cheating in the election, conversations illegally tapped by a sector of the macho military that didn’t want a woman commander in chief? (Has anyone ever wondered why coup attempts happened only against our woman-presidents?)

No doubt, the opposition will again claim that their loss at the plenary vote is an administration attempt at covering the truth, just as Susan Roces and company accused the Supreme Court of covering the truth when it refused to let her replace her husband as contestant in the electoral case, and just as the opposition accused the majority block of covering the truth when the soundness of the impeachment complaints was at bar.

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Technicalities, they claimed, teasing an angry mob outside the Batasan to shout with them. But the angry mob is mostly uninformed as to the nature of the so-called technicalities, which are provided for by no less than the fundamental law. To disregard the technicalities would be to undermine the Constitution itself.

Which leads to the question whether the opposition is defending the right of its supporters to the truth, or whether they are merely using the anger of the mob to their own ends.

But perhaps, at this point, the more appropriate question is where to go from here. There is the opposition’s rocky, probably violent road that leads to uncertainty, given they do not even have a viable replacement should they succeed in unseating the President.

But there is also the route of reconciliation. Let the President show us all, given the loss she incurred in the people’s trust as a result of the “Garci” phone scandal, how she means to overcome the odds and make amends by keeping to the straight path from now on.


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