De Venecia Speech: Remarks of the Speaker | United States Congress | United States Government

REMARKS  OF  THE  SPEAKER,  NOVEMBER  10,  2003       THE   SPEAKER:     With   the   leave   of   the   House   and

  in   response   to   the   parliamentary   inquiry   of   the   distinguished   Gentleman   from   La   Union,   Congressman  Ortega,  I  wish  to  inform  the  Body  that  following  the  adjournment   of   the   House   on   the   eve   of   All   Saints   Day,   until   the   reconvening   of   the   House   today,   on   Monday,   we   held   a   series   of   caucuses,   firstly,   with   the   Nationalist   People’s  Coalition,  in  my  Chamber  upstairs,  that  is  why  I  was  not  on  the  floor.    I   was  present  in  the  House  but  I  was  not  on  the  floor,  following  an  earlier  caucus   which  I  had  with  the  members  of  the  ruling  Lakas  Christian  Muslim  Democrats   Party,  followed  and  we  were  joined  in  the  afternoon  by  the  leaders  and  members   of  the  opposition  party,  the  LDP,  we  all  converged  in  the  Speaker’s  room  to  see   how   we   could   thresh   out   this   problem   of   transmittal.     Because   the   emotions   were  so  charged  and  because  the  various  groups  were  militant  and  strong  with   their   views,   and   there   was   apparent   conflict   between   the   one-­‐third   or   slightly   more   than   one-­‐third   who   signed   the   Impeachment   complaint   and   the   two-­‐thirds   of   the   House   of   almost   two-­‐thirds   of   the   House   who   did   not   sign   the   Impeachment   Complaint,   in   order   that   we   could   gather   the   accumulated   wisdom   of   these   contending   forces,   I   proposed   at   that   time   that   we   hold   a   caucus   of   all   the   political   parties   together,   represented   in   this   House,   together   with   the   Party-­‐ List   groups,   to   make   sure   and   to   make   certain   that   everybody’s   voice   is   heard,   that   no   one   is   prejudiced,   that   no   one   is   isolated,   that   their   positions   shall   be   properly   ventilated   under   full   transparency.     So,   at   that   time,   my   distinguished   colleagues,  we  met  the  following  day  at  the  Edsa  Shangrila,  where  the  leaders  of   the   Nationalist   People’s   Coalition   were   present,   the   leaders   of   the   Lakas,   CMD   were   present,   the   leaders   of   the   Liberal   Party   were   present,   the   leaders   of   the   LDP  were  ably  represented,  together  with  the  Representatives  of  the  Party-­‐List   groups.    At  that  time,  since  we  were  in  receipt  of  a  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court   that   came   out   with   a   status   quo   order,   which   status   quo   order   was   presented   by   the   Supreme   Court   a   few   hours   after   our   adjournment   on   that   day,   and   was   addressed  to  the  House  of  Representatives,  as  well  as  the  Senate,  and  directing   the   Speaker   of   the   House   to   respond   within   a   few   days,   not   later   than   November   2nd.    I  was  frankly  worried  because  we  were  all  on  vacation,  and  I  have  to  gather   the   leaders   of   the   various   parties   so   that   I   can   be   instructed   by   the   Representatives   of   the   whole   House   on   what   courses   of   action   we   should   take.     After  a  lapse  of  almost  five  hours  of  highly  charged  debate,  well,  the  pros  and  the   antis   presented   their   respective   positions.     It   was   decided   firstly,   that   we   will   direct  Atty.  Palicte,  the  Chief  Counsel  of  the  House,  to  go  to  the  Supreme  Court,   and   under   the   guidance   of   Congressman   Teodoro   of   the   NPC,   Congresswoman   Clavel  Martinez  of  the  LAKAS,  Congressman  Rolex  Suplico  of  LDP,  Congressman   Defensor   of   LAKAS,   and   Congressman   Bautista,   who   is   an   eminent   lawyer   representing   the   Party   List   groups,   they   crafted   the   position   of   the   House   of   Representatives,  together  with  our  own  Chief  Counsel.     When   that   was   done,   I   had   to   rush   back   to   Manila   from   Pangasinan   so   that   I   could   sign   the   manifestation   of   the   House   of   Representatives   questioning   the   jurisdiction   of   the   Supreme   Court.     That   while   we   respected   the   action   of   the   Supreme  Court,  and  out  of  courtesy  we  have  to  respond,  we  did  respond,  and  the  

letters   signed   by   your   humble   servant   and   by   the   Chief   Counsel   of   the   House   were   transmitted   to   the   Supreme   Court   on   that   day   of   November   2nd.     So,   we   discharged  our  duties.     Technically  speaking,  certain  advisers  were  advising  me  that  we  are  now  already   under   a   TRO   or   we   were   already   under   a   freeze   order.     I   checked   with   the   President   of   the   Senate,   Senate   President   Drilon,   and   he   said,   the   hold   order   is   the   equivalent   of   a   TRO   against   the   House,   and   against   the   Senate.     And   he   informed  me  that  he  would  not  appear  in  the  Supreme  Court  because  I  told  him  I   would  not  appear  in  the  Supreme  Court.    But  that  we  would  dispatch  our  Chief   Legal  Counsel  to  represent  the  House.     The  second  part  of  our  agreement  on  that  day,  because  you  are  entitled  to  know,   the  five  political  parties  decided  on  that  day  that  we  should  defend  the  political   and  territorial  integrity  of  the  House;  and  we  should  transmit  the  impeachment   complaint.     But   upon   motion   of   Congressman   Abad,   President   of   the   Liberal   Party,  seconded  by  all  the  Liberals  in  that  meeting,  and  seconded  by  the  Part  List   Members   of   the   House   in   that   meeting,   it   was   decided   that   we   should   transmit   subject  to  the  following  conditions:  Firstly,  that  unlike  the  previous  session,  we   must   make   sure   that   we   must   have   a   quorum   of   the   House,   which   the   leadership   in  consultation  with  all  of  you  achieved  today—we  have  a  quorum  of  the  House.     As  a  matter  of  fact,  an  overwhelming  presence  of  the  Members  of  the  House.     Secondly,   as   part   of   the   conditions   of   Congressman   Abad,   concurred   in   by   everyone,  that  every  Member  of  the  House  whether  they  signed  or  did  not  sign   the   impeachment   complaint—whether   you   belong   to   the   one-­‐third   who   signed   the   complaint   or   you   belong   to   the   2/3   that   did   not   sign   the   impeachment   complaint—everyone   must   have   a   chance   in   this   Chamber—in   this   hallowed   hall—to  rise  today  to  explain  his  stand  and  everybody  will  be  given  a  chance.    As   we  seek  the  collective  wisdom  of  the  House,  we  insist,  we  request  that  each  one   should  rise  and  present  his  view  to  the  other  Members  of  the  House  and  to  the   Filipino  people  who  are  watching  the  decisions  that  we  make  today.     In  addition  to  that,  Congressman  Abad  also  suggested  that  while  it  is  implicit  and   explicit  in  the  Constitution  that  upon  securing  one-­‐third  of  the  votes  of  the  House   or  rather  the  signatures  of  Members  of  the  House,  the  same  shall  be  forwarded  to   the  Senate  but  he  said,  correctly  so,  in  the  Rules  of  the  House,  it  must  be  made  on   motion  in  the  House.    In  other  words,  a  motion  to  transmit  shall  be  made  in  the   House;   it   is   not   ipso   facto;   it   is   now   automatic;   it   may   be   ministerial   but   the   Rule   of  the  House  says  it  must  be  made  on  motion.    And  as  you  know  very  well,  my   dear  colleagues,  that  when  a  motion  in  this  House  is  made,  there  are  those  who   will   object,   there   are   those   who   may   want   to   make   amendments,   there   may   be   those  who  will  take  contrary  positions.    Nonetheless,  because  it  sounded  fair  to   all  concerned,  the  five  political  parties  approved  the  consensus  reached  and  we   are  guided  by  that  continuing  consensus  still  today.     However,   there   are   two   intervening   actions   that   have   happened   since   that   historic  afternoon.    Firstly,  President  Arroyo,  as  President  of  the  Philippines  and   President   of   all   the   people,   in   her   desire   to   resolve   this   conflict   between   the  

House  of  Representatives  and  the  Supreme  Court  because  of  the  overwhelming   public  opinion  calling  for  an  honorable  solution  and  many  calls  to  me  that  while  I   did   not   sign   the   impeachment   complaint,   I   was   being   insulted,   battered,   buffeted   by  cartoons,  editorials  and  radio  and  TV  commentaries  against  my  person  even  if   I  am  not,  I  did  not  sign  the  impeachment  complaint.    And  300  Members  coming   from   so-­‐called   NGOs   stormed   the   gates   of   my   village   and   they   were   only   prevented  from  entering  my  house  by  the  Makati  police.     Be  that  as  it  may,  this  is  part  of  the  risk  of  leadership  in  a  democracy.    I  held  my   peace,   I’m   in   response   to   the   call   of   the   President   for   an   honorable   solution.     I   revived   the   earlier   action   of   Congressman   Andaya,   Chairman   of   the   Committee   on   Appropriations   and   the   distinguished   Deputy   Majority   Leader   of   the   House,   Congressman   Escudero,   acting   in   concert   with   Congressman   Gilbert   Teodoro,   who   is   the   acknowledged   head   of   the   NPC   in   the   House,   who—Congressman   Escudero   and   Congressman   Andaya   came   to   me   in   my   office   and   said,   “Mr.   Speaker,   will   you   please   use   your   diplomatic   skills   to   avert   this   damaging   confrontation  between  the  House  and  the  Supreme  Court.”     I  said,  “Do  I  have  your  authority,  do  I  have  your  permission?”     They  said,  “Yes.”     “Do  I  have—am  I  authorized  by  the  leadership  of  the  NPC  to  make  this  move?”     “Yes.”     So,   I   said,   “Let   me   call   Chief   Justice   Davide   if   he   is   also   interested   that   we   engage   in  a  peacemaking  effort.”     So,  I  telephoned  Chief  Justice  Davide,  and  he  said,  “Yes,  we  would  be  interested  in   an  honorable  solution  to  this  problem.”     And  I  said,  “Whom  would  you  designate,  Mr.  Chief  Justice,  as  your  representative   to  meet  with  Members  of  the  House?”     He  said,  “I  a  going  to  request  Justice  Bellosillo  who  is  the  number  two  man  in  the   Supreme  Court  to  meet  with  you.”     I   checked   with   Congressman   Escudero,   and   he   said,   “Yes,   Justice   Bellosillo   is   acceptable  because  he  is  considered  to  be  a  fair  and  just  man.”     So   that   after   that   evening,   I   called   up   Senior   Justice   of   the   Supreme   Court   Justice   Bellosillo.    He  was  in  Cebu,  and  he  said,  “Yes,  I  will  come  to  Manila  on  request  of   the  Chief  Justice,  and  I  will  meet  with  you  and  your  colleagues.”     So   we   met   at   the   Shangri-­‐La   Hotel   in   Makati—Congressman   Escudero,   representing  the  NPC,  Congressman  Nonoy  Andaya  representing  the  Lakas,  and   we   said   to   Justice   Bellosillo,   “Mr.   Justice,   we   want   the   Supreme   Court   to   recognize   the   power,   the   oversight   power   of   Congress.     We   want   the   Supreme  

Court   to   recognize   the   power   of   the   purse   of   Congress.       And   we   want   the   Supreme  Court  to  recognize  congressional  access  to  the  records  of  the  Judiciary   Development  Fund.”    And  he  transmitted  this  to  the  Chief  Justice.    And  we  were   under  the  impression  that  the  same  would  be  considered  by  the  Supreme  Court.     We   decided   to   meet   again   the   following   day,   this   time   at   the   Manila   Hotel,   and   this   time,   Justice   Bellosillo   returned   with   two   more   Justices   of   the   Supreme   Court—the   number   two   of   the   Supreme   Court,   the   number   three   of   the   Supreme   Court   and   the   number   four   of   the   Supreme   Court—Justice   Puno   and   Justice   Vitug.     Again,   we   transmitted   what   we   called   the   unnegotiable   position   of   the   House   because   like   yourselves,   I,   too,   wanted   to   protect   the   political   and   territorial   integrity   of   the   House.     And   so,   it   was   decided   that   they   would   make   a   final   transmittal  to  the  Chief  Justice.    And  we  decided  to  meet  once  more  the  following   day.     The   following   day,   the   four   points   that   I   raised   in   that   meeting   were   put   in   writing   by   Congressman   Escudero   and   by   Congressman   Andaya   to   make   sure   that   there   is   no   misunderstanding,   that   there   are   no   nuances   that   were   not   understood.     And   it   was   agreed   that   if   this   was   acceptable,   the   Supreme   Court,   through  the  Chief  Justice,  which  is  meeting  en  banc  would  respond  to  the  House   on   Monday.     Apparently,   as   there   are   militants   in   this   House,   as   there   are   militants   in   every   group,   there   are   also   apparently   militants   in   the   Supreme   Court.    So  the  honorable  solution  that  we  sought  could  not  be  achieved  and  in  the   meantime   there   was   a   meeting   in   the   House   and   we   decided   to   give   the   peace   process   and   the   backchanneling   an   additional   day.     And   so   we   waited   another   day   because   we   were   engaged   in   sincerity.     We   wanted   to   achieve   mutual   goodwill,  we  wanted  to  avoid  the  confrontation.    But  on  the  second  day,  in  spite   of   efforts   of   Congressman   Raul   del   Mar   and   Congresswoman   Clavel   Martinez— both  of  whom  are  from  Cebu—in  spite  of  the  continuing  efforts  of  Congressman   Andaya  it  was  my  understanding  that  militants  in  the  Supreme  Court  prevented   the  Chief  Justice  from  responding  to  the  House.    So  that  was  the  situation  and  we   were  left  with  last  week.     In  the  meantime,  President  Arroyo,  making  a  powerful  appeal  to  each  and  every   one  of  us  for  a  dignified  settlement  of  this  crisis,  proposed  a  covenant  among  the   three  departments  of  government.    It  will  be  a  tripartite  agreement  and  called  for   a   truce.     I   remember   saying   to   the   Chief   Justice   of   the   Supreme   Court   as   we   were   having  dinner  in  Malacañang  attended  by  Congressman  Fuentebella,  I  said,  “we   want  a  truce  also,  Mr.  Chief  Justice.    But  we  want  a  truce  among  equals.”    I  said,   “yes,   we   are   interested   in   peace,   we   are   interested   in   peace   between   the   Supreme   Court   and   the   House.”     But   I   said,   “It   must   be   a   peace   among   the   brave.     That   no   one   is   supreme   over   the   other.     That   we   are   equal   under   the   Constitution.    This  I  made  very,  very  clear.     Before   the   dinner   was   ended,   President   Arroyo   presented   us   with   a   covenant.     And  in  the  covenant,  to  be  signed  by  the  President  of  the  Philippines,  to  be  signed   by   the   Chief   Justice   and   to   be   signed   by   yours   truly—if   you   so   authorize   me—all  

the  four  points  that  we  sought  were  included.    Firstly,  they  recognized  our  power   of  the  purse,  they  recognized  our  power  of  oversight,  they  recognized  our  power   to   impeach   and   they   recognized   our   continuing   access   to   the   JDF   records   so   that   even  if  the  impeachment  complaint  is  withdrawn  or  deferred,  the  same  shall  be   presented  to  the  Committee  on  Justice  for  further  investigation.     So   all   the   points   that   you   and   I   sought,   that   all   the   parties   sought,   they   are   all   enshrined   and   included   and   integrated   in   the   covenant.     When   I   saw   that   the   President  honored  our  request  and  included  it  in  the  covenant,  when  I  saw  that   the   Chief   Justice   was   nodding   based   on   the   original   covenant   that   was   transmitted   to   us   by   the   President,   in   our   desire   to   accommodate   the   other   forces   in   the   House   who   signed   the   impeachment   complaint,   I   sent   copies   of   this   covenant   to   Congressman   Gilbert   Teodoro,   Congressman   Chiz   Escudero.     I   sent   copies  of  this  covenant  to  the  other  Members  of  the  House  for  discussion.     In   the   meantime,   Congressman   Jaraula,   speaking   in   Cagayan   de   Oro,   came   out   with   a   five-­‐point   formula   on   how   to   resolve   this   crisis   which   I   felt   was   an   outstanding   proposal.     However,   day   after   day,   night   after   night,   we   were   waiting,   waiting   for   approval   from   the   NPC,   approval   from   the   Lakas.     The   LP   responded   and   said   they   will   support   the   covenant;   the   Lakas   responded   that   they   will   support   the   covenant.     However,   we   sill   must   contend   with   the   one-­‐ third   who   are   insistent   on   the   transmittal   of   the   impeachment   complaint   and   therefore  I  could  not  sign  the  covenant  much  as  I  wanted  to  in  order  to  restore   the   image   of   the   House,   the   image   of   the   Supreme   Court,   and   the   image   of   the   executive   on   high   political   ground   and   on   high   moral   ground.     But   since   the   covenant   could   not   be   advanced,   which   I   was   praying   to   God   that   we   should   support   it   in   order   that   we   can   stop   the   Supreme   Court   from   coming   out   with   its   decision   today,   we   were   informed   that   if   we   have   the   covenant,   the   Supreme   Court   will   no   longer   come   out   with   its   decision   to   declare   the   impeachment   complaint   of   the   House   as   unconstitutional.     I   was   pushing   for   the   covenant   so   that  there  will  be  no  need  for  any  of  the  signatories  to  withdraw  their  signatures   so   that   therefore   everyone’s   face   will   be   intact   and   saved.     No   disgrace   need   befall  any  Member  of  the  House  who  signed  the  covenant  because  this  one  is  not   an   agreement   between   Members   who   signed   and   Members   who   did   not   sign   but   the   covenant   is   among   three   institutions,   the   three   great   branches   of   government—the   Executive,   the   Judiciary,   and   the   Legislative.     My   friends,   because  for  some  reason  or  another,  we  did  not  succeed  and  we  must  look  to  our   own  respective  consciences  to  ask  why  we  did  not  succeed.     Today,  we  are  in  receipt  of  a  110-­‐page  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  declaring— and  this  is  what  I  feared,  this  is  what  impelled  me  and  impelled  the  President  to   continue   with   the   covenant   so   that   our   impeachment   complaint   will   not   be   declared   unconstitutional.     This   is   why   I   humbled   myself   repeatedly   to   all,   to   each  and  everyone  of  you  to  support  the  covenant  so  that  this  situation  that  we   face   this   afternoon   will   not   come   to   pass.     Now   we   are   in   receipt   of   this   document,   the   decision   of   the   Supreme   Court   by   almost   unanimous   vote   declaring  the  impeachment  complaint  unconstitutional.    

It   is   my   hope   that   now   realizing   the   predicament   that   we   are   in,   nonetheless,   we   should  hear  from  each  and  every  Member  of  the  House  to  stand  up  and  articulate   his  or  her  view  on  this  transcendental  historic  issue  that  has  divided  our  House   and   is   beginning   to   divide   our   people.     We   hope   to   God   that   the   military   adventurers   and   the   prophets   of   doom   and   disaster,   those   who   are   engaged   in   adding  fuel  to  the  fire  in  order  to  bring  down  as  they  sought  to  bring  it  down,  two   and   a   half   months   ago   to   bring   down   the   government.     We   are   in   a   situation   where  we  either  respect  or  defy  the  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court.    It  will  come   to  that.    We’re  in  a  situation  whereby  in  the  face  of  defiance  the  Supreme  Court   will  ask  the  President  of  the  Philippines  to  enforce  its  decision.    Whose  decision   will  the  Armed  Forces  or  the  Philippine  National  Police  follow?    The  decision  of   the   House   or   of   the   decision   of   the   Supreme   Court.     We’re   hoping,   my   dear   colleagues,   that   this   standoff   will   not   come   to   that.     We’re   hoping   against   hope   that   some   enlightenment   will   descend   upon   each   and   everyone   of   us   so   that   you   and  I  can  make  the  proper  decision.    I  know  how  it  feels,  how  it  hurts.    I  know  the   tragedy  that  you  feel  in  your  hearts  and  in  your  minds  as  I  feel  it  myself.    But  as   the  father  of  this  house,  I  must  not  only  think  in  terms  of  the  one-­‐third  but  also  in   terms   of   the   two-­‐thirds   of   the   House   who   did   not   sign   the   impeachment   complaint.    It  is  also  my  duty  to  think  in  terms  of  the  country  because  whatever   we   decide   here   today   will   have   an   effect   on   the   nation   and   an   effect   on   our   people.    This  is  my  statement  to  the  House  in  reply  to  the  parliamentary  inquiry   of  Congressman  Ortega.       Upon  recognition  by  the  Chair,  Rep.  Ronaldo  B.  Zamora  asked  whether  the  decision   of  the  Supreme  Court  had  been  officially  transmitted  and  received  by  the  House  of   Representatives.     THE  SPEAKER:    The  dispositive  portion  of  the  decision  was  transmitted  to  us  at   noon  and  this  110-­‐page  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  was  received  by  my  office   two  hours  ago.     REP.   ZAMORA:     Mr.   Speaker,   the   Speaker   mentioned   that   this   was   upon   the   unanimous  vote  or  near  unanimous  vote  of  the  Supreme  Court.    May  I  know  the   vote,  Mr.  Speaker?     THE   SPEAKER:     May   I   ask   the   Secretary   General.     I   have   had   no   time   to   read   this   page,  these  110  pages.    I  am  down  with  the  flu  but  I  am  here  doing  my  duty.    May   I  ask  you…     Thereafter,  the  Secretary  General  read  the  dispositive  portion  of  the  decision.     Thereafter,   Rep.   Zamora   asked   whether   the   Speaker   intends   to   file   a   motion   for   reconsideration  or  whether  he  would  now  agree  with  the  decision  of  the  Supreme   Court.     THE  SPEAKER:    I  shall  be  guided  by  the  will  of  the  House,  Your  Honor.     REP.  ZAMORA:    What  does  that  exactly  mean,  Mr.  Speaker?  

  THE  SPEAKER:    I  will  ask…     REP.  ZAMORA:    Does  he  intend  to  file  a  motion  to  reconsider  or  does  he  not?     THE  SPEAKER:    I  shall  consult  with  the  leaders  of  the  House  and  the  Members  of   the  House  and  we  shall  make  our  collective  judgment  together  by  tomorrow.     REP.   ZAMORA:     There   is   therefore   a   possibility,   Mr.   Speaker,   that   despite   what   the   Speaker   manifested   in   black   and   white,   submitted   to   the   Supreme   Court   in   black   and   white,   there   is   therefore   the   possibility   that   the   Speaker   intends   to   submit  to  the  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court.    Is  that  correct,  Mr.  Speaker?     THE   SPEAKER:     The   distinguished   Gentleman   from   San   Juan   may   have   a   point,   but  Your  Honor  will  recall  that  when  we  met  to  instruct  our  Chief  Legal  Counsel   to   question   the   jurisdiction   of   the   Supreme   Court,   and   we   did   question   the   jurisdiction  of  the  Supreme  Court,  it  was  only—we  were  only  restrained  at  that   time   by   a   status   quo   order.     Today,   that   situation   still   holds—that   we   are   still   restrained   by   a   status   quo   order—but   this   time,   with   a   sledge   hammer.     At   the   same  time  we  have  been  told  that  our  impeachment  complaint,  the  impeachment   complaint  of  more  than  one-­‐third  of  the  House  is  unconstitutional.    It  is  no  longer   a  simple  hold  order  of  the  Supreme  Court,  Your  Honor,  but  this  time  we  have  an   overwhelming   judgment-­‐decision   of   the   Supreme   Court   declaring   the   impeachment  complaint  unconstitutional.     REP.   ZAMORA:     In   short,   the   Speaker   now   agrees   with   the   position   of   the   Supreme  Court,  does  he,  Mr.  Speaker?     THE   SPEAKER:     Well,   as   I   told   you,   my   personal   opinions   do   not   matter   at   this   time.     I   have   to   consult   with   the   leaders   of   the   House.     If   we   are   going   to   file   a   motion  for  reconsideration,  I  must  consult  with  the  leaders  of  the  House  because   this  is  too  big  a  burden  on  my  shoulders  alone.    It  is  not  fair  to  me  to  make  this   decision.    I  have  to  consult  with  you.     On  motion  of  Rep.  Gonzales,  the  Chair  suspended  the  session.     Upon  resumption  of  session,  the  Chair  recognized  Rep.  Zamora  (R.)     Thereupon,   Rep.   Zamora   inquired   whether   it   was   possible   that   a   motion   for   reconsideration   was   not   being   considered   because   the   House   had   continuously   failed  to  recognize  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Supreme  Court.     THE   SPEAKER:     As   of   the   last   two   weeks,   the   position   that   Your   Honor   mentioned   was   our   position   that   we   question   the   jurisdiction   of   the   Supreme   Court.     However,   at   that   time,   we   were   only   restrained   by   a   hold   order   of   the   Supreme   Court.     Today,   we   are   under   a   decision   of   the   Supreme   Court   which   struck  down  the  constitutionality  of  our  impeachment  complaint.    I  intend  to  ask   each   and   every   member   of   the   House   to   explain   his   vote   one   way   or   the   other   so   that  we  can  hear  from  each  and  everyone.  

  Upon   consultations   with   the   leaders   of   the   House,   and   before   I   go   further,   I   wish   to   acknowledge   the   presence   of   so   many   members   and   leaders   of   civil   society   who   are   here   today.     I   thank   you   for   honoring   the   tranquility   of   the   House,   we   thank  you  for  respecting  the  serenity  of  the  House  proceedings…     REP.  ZAMORA:    Mr.  Speaker,     THE  SPEAKER:    …In  the  same  way  that  we  honor  you,  we  also  ask  you  to  honor   and   respect   the   Members   of   the   House   who   are   here   today   because   you   are   indeed  our  honored  guests.     Now,  to  go  back  to  the  question,  we  are  in  receipt  of  a  decision  of  the  Supreme   Court.     REP.  ANDAYA:    Mr.  Speaker,  point  of  order,  Mr.  Speaker.     THE  SPEAKER:    What  is  the  Gentleman’s  point  of  order,  Congressman  Andaya?     REP.   ANDAYA:     Yes,   Mr.   Speaker,   I   believe   that   the   Speaker   is   not   allowed   to   engage   or   be   engaged   in   debate   by   the   Members   of   the   House.     I   think   the   question   being   asked   by   the   Honorable   Zamora   is:   Will   the   House   of   Representatives   respect   the   order   of   the   Supreme   Court?     That   is   the   question   which  begs  to  be  answered  at  this  point  in  time,  Mr.  Speaker.     THE  SPEAKER:    The  Chair  is  constrained  to  respect  the  decision  of  the  Supreme   Court.     REP.  ZAMORA:    Mr.  Speaker.     REP.  PLAZA:    Mr.  Speaker,  Mr.  Speaker.     REP.  ZAMORA:    Mr.  Speaker.     REP.  PLAZA:    Mr.  Speaker.     REP.  ZAMORA:    Mr.  Speaker.     REP.  GONZALES:    May  I  ask  for  a  one-­‐minute  suspension,  Mr.  Speaker.     REP.  PLAZA:    Mr.  Speaker,  parliamentary  inquiry,  Mr.  Speaker.     THE  SPEAKER:    The  session  is  suspended.     It  was  5:49  p.m.    

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