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Duterte could be impeached for releasing ‘narcolist,’ says solon

/ 10:29 AM March 15, 2019
solon villarin

Akbayan Rep. Tomasito Villarin. INQUIRER file photo / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines —  President Rodrigo Duterte could be impeached for releasing the list of alleged “narco politicians” as this was a violation of the Constitution and an individual’s right to due process and presumption of innocence, an opposition party-list congressman said on Friday.

READ: Duterte exposes 46 ‘narco politicians’ | Duterte names 46 pols on narcolist

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“As President of the republic, Duterte’s powers are not absolute nor can he justify putting the state in order by infringing on an individual’s right to due process and presumption of innocence,” Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said in a statement.

“This could constitute an impeachable offense for culpable violation of the Constitution.”

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While the right to privacy is “not absolute,” Villarin said charges should have been filed against the 46 individuals instead.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it already filed administrative charges against the politicians in the list for “grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, conduct unbecoming of a public officer, and gross neglect of duty” before the President made the live broadcast announcement via the State-run PTV-4 from Davao City on Thursday evening.

READ: DILG files administrative cases vs 46 politicians in ‘narcolist’

The lawmaker warned that the release of the alleged “narcolist” barely two months before the May 13 midterm elections was an act of “public shaming” and “trial by publicity” which could trigger an “open season for political assassinations.”

“We cannot allow trial by publicity especially coming during an election season where political violence heightens. With the list out, it is now open season for political assassinations. It has now become game for political rivals to assume that death warrants have been served against their opponents,” Vilarin said. /je

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