De Lima: No other president has committed more impeachable offenses than Duterte
MANILA, Philippines —President Rodrigo Duterte has probably committed more impeachable offenses following his comment to allow Chinese fishers access to the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
According to De Lima, Duterte committed three grounds for impeachment including culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, and betrayal of public trust.
The senator added that Duterte would also commit two more grounds for impeachment — bribery and graft and corruption — if “proven that his motivation for this grossly unconstitutional act is his acceptance of a generous bribe from China, whether in the form of campaign donations or a share in Chinese business interests in the Philippines.”
“No other president has probably committed more impeachable offenses than Duterte. The mechanism for a remedy is there, but it has been ill-suited for a political culture that values patronage and power over and above the rule of law, sovereignty, and national pride,” De Lima said in a statement.
“Hindi nga naman makakain ang pride at soberenya, pero sobra-sobra kung makapagpabusog ang pork barrel at ang kapangyarihang inutang sa Malacañang kapalit ng pagiging sunud-sunuran,” the senator added.
De Lima also hit the “Duterte-controlled Congress” which, she said, is not expected to hold Duterte accountable for his impeachable actions.
“But the Duterte-controlled Congress is not expected to hold Duterte to account for these impeachable offenses anytime soon, even if the 1987 Constitution’s provisions on impeachment seems to have been tailor-made to fit Duterte and the infinite number of impeachable crimes he has committed since he assumed office three years ago on June 30, 2016,” De Lima said.
“What are the people to do when the President and a rubber-stamp Congress have not only failed to secure the national interest but have actively given away or sold the Filipinos’ sovereign rights to China in exchange for 30 pieces of silver?” the senator added.
Not the last act of treason
De Lima noted that Duterte’s move to cede the EEZ to China “will not be his last act of treason.”
This, the senator said, raises the urgency to resolve the petition filed by the Kalayaan Palawan Farmers and Fisherfolk Association against the Duterte Administration before the Supreme Court.
The petition seeks the government to enforce the country’s sovereign rights in the WPS under the UNCLOS, the Philippine Fisheries Code, and the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the case of Philippines v. China.
“This only makes the urgency of resolving the farmers’ and fisherfolks’ petition clearer. It may well be our last hope in stopping Duterte’s unprecedented betrayal of the national interest,” De Lima said. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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