It’s a numbers game: Palace says Duterte confident impeach raps won’t flourish
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is confident that an impeachment complaint against him will not flourish, his spokesman said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said an impeachment proceeding is a numbers game and Duterte is banking on his allies in Congress.
“How can a President be scared of an impeachment. An impeachment is a numbers game. We have a supermajority in Congress. It will not even pass the Committee on Justice,” Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.
Asked if the President was confident that a possible impeachment case against him would not flourish, he said, “Of course it will not.”
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and former foreign affairs secretary Albert Del Rosario earlier said Duterte might face an impeachment complaint for saying that he would allow Chinese fishermen access in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
On Thursday night, Duterte threatened to jail those who would file an impeachment case against him over his alleged failure to protect the country’s maritime rights in the West Philippine Sea.
The Makabayan bloc on Friday said they were ready to endorse an impeachment complaint against the President.
Duterte told reporters on Thursday night that the provision in the Constitution on the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is for the “senseless and thoughtless” and China will not honor it.
Under Section 2, Article XII of the Consitution, it states that “the State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.”
The President earlier revealed that he had a “mutual agreement” with Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow Chinese fishermen in the Philippines’ EEZ as Beijing allowed Filipinos access to the Scarborough Shoal.
The Scarborough Shoal is a traditional fishing ground inside the Philippines’ EEZ that Beijing seized in 2012 after a two-month standoff with the Philippine Navy.
“For so many weeks, he has been holding his patience because he cannot even understand these critics, these detractors cannot understand that what he is doing is for the welfare, interest, safety of our countrymen,” Panelo said. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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