World News

Impeachment case filed against Philippines' Arroyo

Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seen in New York in this September 23, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Chip East

MANILA (Reuters) - Opposition groups in the Philippines filed an impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Monday, but admitted they did not have the numbers in Congress to make it stick.

Arroyo has fended off three impeachment complaints in each of the past three years with her domination of the House of Representatives.

The complaint accuses Arroyo of corruption, extra-judicial killings, torture and illegal arrests. One of the complainants is a woman whose activist son has been missing for 18 months and is widely suspected to have been abducted by security forces.

But opposition congressman Ronaldo Zamora said of the complaint: “I haven’t seen much interest from other congressmen other than from those in the minority. At this point, we may lack the numbers.”

Opinion polls say Arroyo is the most unpopular Philippine president since late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. But alongside her domination of Congress, she is supported by the army and the powerful Catholic church.

Arroyo’s term in office lasts until 2010 and she is not eligible to seek re-election. Analysts have said political heavyweights are unlikely to join any bid to have her removed by impeachment, preferring to conserve their energies for the 2010 election campaign.

Reporting by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Alex Richardson