Palace: Threat to jail impeachment proponents an expression of disgust
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to jail individuals moving for his impeachment was just an “expression of disgust,” Malacañang said Monday, downplaying another outburst from the chief executive.
“That was an expression of righteous indignation,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“That’s just an expression. In other words, expression of disgust, disappointment,” Panelo pointed out.
Speaking to reporters last week, Duterte threatened to jail anyone who would file an impeachment case against him over his alleged failure to protect the country’s territory.
READ: Duterte on impeachment proponents: I’ll jail them all
The President was accused of siding with China over the sinking of a Filipino boat at the Recto Bank on June 9.
He was also heavily criticized for saying he could not ban China from fishing in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
“He cannot even understand why these critics and detractors cannot visualize what he is doing for the country. He was pissed off by that,” Panelo said.
Maritime law experts and former diplomats have urged Duterte to invoke Manila’s sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea amid Beijing’s aggression in the Philippines’ territorial waters.
But Panelo said critics of Duterte “are really looking for trouble.”
To the President’s mind, he said, “If you are looking for trouble, this is not the right place, I will not accommodate you because trouble means trouble for the country. I will never allow that under my watch.”
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said on Friday that the President was confident an impeachment case against him would not flourish in Congress, citing Duterte has a “supermajority” in the coming 18th Congress.
READ: It’s a numbers game: Palace says Duterte confident impeach raps won’t flourish
In 2017, an attempt to impeach Duterte over the thousands of alleged extrajudicial killings in his brutal war on drugs and his alleged subservience to China did not prosper. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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