Philippine opposition makes another bid to impeach Arroyo

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is facing an impeachment attempt next week. The opposition’s impeachment bid may cause just another political explosion in the deeply divided country.

Opposition lawmakers vowed Tuesday to file impeachment charges against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who tried to calm the crisis by announcing a truth commission to investigate vote-rigging allegations against her.

The so-called "truth commission" could be a way out of weeks of turmoil that have rattled investors over threats of paralysis to economic reforms designed to raise revenues and cut debt, informs Reuters.

"On the matter of moral accountability and the need to restore trust, I have initiated the creation of a commission or similar body to look into the truth behind issues recently raised against me," Arroyo wrote to a prominent Catholic bishop.

Meanwhile, the opposition lawmakers said they planned to file up to 10 criminal charges, including election fraud and corruption, says the AP.

They were seeking witnesses among 13 former Cabinet members and top aides who recently quit Arroyo's government - some saying they're willing to testify against their former boss. Arroyo lost two key aides on Monday as Corazon Guidote, her special adviser on investments, resigned along with Vicky Garchitorena, her adviser on good governance and poverty alleviation, remind the Manila Times.

The lawmakers and private lawyers scrambled to prepare charges, evidence and witness rosters in time to file an impeachment complaint by Thursday, said Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, head of the opposition's legal team.

Congress will convene next week. An impeachment trial would be a politically explosive exercise against a backdrop of almost-daily anti-Arroyo protests and rumors about brewing coups, believes the AP.

According to The Manila Times, opposition forces will stage a noise barrage beginning Tuesday as a prelude to a bigger antigovernment rally to coincide with President Arroyo’s State of the Nation address on July 25.

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