Umali vows due process in Duterte impeachment complaint
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali on Monday vowed that the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte would go through the due legislative process.
In an interview with Radyo Inquirer on Monday, Umali said the impeachment complaint would still go through the usual legislative mill.
“Ay, mahabang proseso po yan (There’s still a long process to go),” Umali said.
Umali said the justice committee which he chairs would still determine if the impeachment complaint against Duterte has form and substance and if there’s probable cause to have the President impeached.
“Una, pagbobotohan namin kung iyan ay sufficient in form, kung iyan ay sufficient in substance, at kung iyan ay may probable cause (First we will vote if this is sufficient in form and substance, and then if there is probable cause),” Umali said.
Umali said if the committee finds the impeachment complaint sufficient in form and substance, the official facing an impeachment complaint is required to file a written response to the charges, which would still he deliberated by the justice committee.
Umali said the impeachment complaint will then be put to a vote in the House plenary. A vote of at least one-third of all the members of the House is needed before it can be transmitted to the Senate, which will try the official. The House will serve as the prosecuting panel, with the Senate as the impeachment court.
The 1987 Constitution prohibits impeachment proceedings against the same official more than once within a period of one year.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano last Thursday filed the complaint against the President for the latter’s alleged hand in the vigilante killings by the Davao Death Squad and the spate of extrajudicial killings at the height of his administration’s war on drugs, as well as his alleged P2.2 billion hidden wealth.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte’s ally in Congress, then tagged Vice President Leni Robredo as being behind the impeachment move against Duterte, noting that the filing of Magdalo’s impeachment complaint coincided with the Vice President’s message to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs critical of the government’s narcotics war.
Alvarez said Robredo may be impeached for betrayal of public trust for putting the country in a bad light before the international community.
“Ang pananaw ko dito, may betrayal of public trust… Kung ikaw, ipagpapalagay nating totoo ang pagkakahalal, sisiraan mo ang bayan sa international community nang walang pakundangan, ano ang magiging epekto nun? Economically, may impact po yun,” Alvarez said.
(My view here is there is betrayal of public trust.. If we assume that her election in office was legitimate and true, and then you put the country in a bad light before the international community, what would be the effect of that? Economically, there will be an impact.)
Alvarez also took a hit at the legitimacy of Vice President Robredo, who faces an election protest filed by former senator Bongbong Marcos after the latter lost by a margin of 200,000 votes. Bongbong is the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Marcos loyalists Oliver Lozano and Melchor Chavez on Monday asked Alvarez to endorse their impeachment complaint against Robredo for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.
In her six-minute video to the 60th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs annual meeting in Vienna, Robredo criticized the administration’s drug war and exposed the police “palit ulo” scheme of allegedly taking in the kin of drug suspects if the latter were missing.