Impeachment against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte belittled

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  • Pantaleon Alvarez, who is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, expressed confidence the impeachment complaint filed against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte by the Magdalo party list, represented by Congressman Gary Alejano, will not prosper.

    Alvarez noted that not only the charges were fabricated and had no evidence to support them but also that the history of previous impeachment complaints against the President in the past do not augur well for the Magdalo complaint.

    “Simply put, this is stupidity, period,” said Alvarez.

    Alvarez also tagged Vice President Leni Robredo for direct involvement in the filing of the impeachment complaint last March 16.

    “Definitely yes.  Sino pa ang magbe-benefit diyan?” Alvarez answered when asked in a TV interview to clarify his statement on the possible involvement of Robredo in the impeach move.

    Alvarez noted that the filing of the impeachment complaint came on the heels of a video message Robredo sent to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs where she criticized the conduct of the administration’s war against illegal drugs.

    “Maliwanag na maliwanag po. Nakita naman natin na kahit sa United Nations ay nagpadala pa siya ng tape, na sinasabi niya na yung mga reklamo dito sa Pilipinas daw,” Alvarez said.

    According to the Speaker, Robredo is likely worried that a recount of the ballots cast for Vice President in the last elections would reveal she is not the real winner.

    Robredo is facing an election protest lodged by her rival, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, which recently decided to proceed with the hearing of the case.

    “Malamang natatakot siya na kapag binilang yung resulta noong eleksyon ay talagang hindi aabot dahil alam naman niya na hindi totoong talagang nanalo siya,” Alvarez said.

    Alvarez said that while President Duterte himself said during the graduation rites at the Philippine Military Academy that Robredo is not involved in the destabilization plots against the administration, he believes otherwise.

    “Yun po ang pananaw ng ating Pangulo, ngayon ang aking pananaw ay iba naman,” Alvarez said.

    Meanwhile, Alvarez clarified that his comment that the complaint is “stupidity” is nothing personal.

    “Ang sinasabi ko lang na stupidity dahil po kung alam naman natin na kulang sa substance yung ating  fi-nile ay sasayangin po namin ang oras ng Kongreso. Marami pong nakabinbin, maraming panukalang batas,” he explained.

    Alvarez also dismissed the claim of Alejano that a few allies of Pres. Duterte are supporting the impeachment complaint.

    “Puwede naman po kasing mag-claim kahit sabihin natin na maraming sumasama sa amin. Ganoon din ho yung nangyari noong botohan ng death penalty di ho ba,” Alvarez said.

    Instead of wasting the time of Congress, Alvarez has this advice to Alejano and his group: “Siguro maging tapat lang tayo doon sa sinumpaan natin na gagawin natin ang lahat para protektahan yung ating Saligang Batas.”

    Alvarez said the impeachment complaint will undergo the prescribed procedure in the House of Representatives.

    Alvarez said the complaint might have a chance to comply with the requirements of proper form but he said the complaint will definitely fail on the requirement for sufficiency in substance to prosper.

    “Huwag na po tayong makarating doon sa numbers, pag-usapan na lang po natin yung substance. I don’t think doon sa substance po ay papasa iyan. Malinaw na malinaw po yan, kasing linaw po ng sikat ng araw,” Alvarez said.

    Among others, the complaint accuses President Duterte of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and of responsibility in the killings related to the government’s war on illegal drugs.

    “As a lawyer, madaling magsulat ng culpable violation of the constitution but to prove it is another thing,” Alvarez said.

    As to the other charges, Alvarez said they are simply baseless.

    Even the fate of past impeachment complaints against previous presidents does not augur well for the Magdalo complaint against President Duterte, according to Alvarez.

    “Wala pong nangyayaring impeachment ever since sa Presidente, except yun nga, yung kay Erap (Estrada). Mahirap po gawin iyan, alam po natin yun,” Alvarez noted.

    The Constitution provides that “a vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary resolution.”

    In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, it would constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate can proceed immediately.

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