Alvarez: I don’t work for Duterte
Believe it or not, there is no pressure from President Rodrigo Duterte to impeach Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Wednesday.
Alvarez, a bosom buddy of Mr. Duterte, acknowledged the President’s remark expressing his desire to have Morales, along with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, impeached.
But Alvarez invoked the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature, and insisted that “I don’t work for the President.”
“For me, I don’t consider it as pressure. In the first place, I do not work for the President. I work for the Republic of the Philippines,” the Speaker told reporters in an interview.
He considered Mr. Duterte’s comment about impeaching Morales as simply that of “an ordinary citizens who says ‘I will file an impeachment complaint in Congress.’”
But Alvarez added that a number of lawmakers had already expressed their intent to endorse the planned impeachment complaint against Morales.
Some groups, including the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, had announced plans to file an impeachment complaint against Morales on a number of grounds, including her supposed partisanship and alleged corruption in her office.
Alvarez said he did not wish to preempt the filing.
“But once somebody files, we have no choice but to process it,” he said.
The Speaker denied that the House of Representatives was using impeachment as a weapon against political dissenters and critics of Mr. Duterte.
“That is the most unfair statement,” he said, adding:
“In the first place, it (impeachment) is a constitutional process. If it is a constitutional process, it is in accordance to the Constitution. Therefore, it is legal.”
Alvarez did not say if there were strong basis to impeach the President. “Let’s look at the grounds first, if (they are) true or not,” he said.
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