Who is Gilbert Teodoro, the standard bearer of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition for the 2003 elections? We know that he is currently the secretary of national defense. But in 2003 when he was still a member of the House of Representatives, he, together with Rep. William Felix Fuentebella filed an impeachment complaint against the then Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., a Cebuano.
The filing was done on Oct. 23, 2003, four months after another impeachment complaint was filed by former president Joseph Estradaagainst Davide and seven other Supreme Court associate justices. The 1987 Constitution states that only one impeachment complaint can be filed against a government official within one year.
The Erap complaint was for culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes. It was related to the blessing given by Davide and the SC associate justices to the assumption of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the presidency following Erap’s ouster by Edsa II. But the one initiated by Teodoro and Fuentebella was more sinister because it insinuated that Davide, a respected Cebuano, is corrupt.
The congressmen led by Teodoro and Fuentebella accused Davide of misusing the Judiciary Development Fund. But that was for many people only a front. The belief was that Teodoro’s uncle, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco was behind the move to ensure that a Supreme Court friendly to him would decide the pending cases relative to his acquisition of wealth under the Marcos regime. Teodoro and the core of the pro-impeachment solons were members of Cojuangco’s Nationalist Peoples Coalition.
As the late senator Raul Roco said at that time, the congressmen pushing for the impeachment of Davide were simply out to oust him and were scrounging for sins they could throw against him. Of course, the impeachment complaint initiated by Teodoro and Feuntebella did not go anywhere considering its unconstitutional nature. But it did besmirch the reputation of one of the best leaders that Cebu has produced.
By the way, another presidentiable, Francis “Chiz” Escudero signed the impeachment complaint. I find this interesting because it showed that Teodoro and Escudero will do the bidding of Cojuangco come hell or high water. To paraphrase Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s worry about another Erap presidency: God save this country from the likes of Teodoro and Escudero.