Fariñas: Impeachment talk ‘unbecoming’
Speaking about the impeachment of a President is “unbecoming” a justice of the Supreme Court, an influential House leader said on Saturday.
Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio “spoke out of turn” when he raised the possibility of President Duterte getting impeached if the latter gave up Philippine sovereign claims to the Scarborough Shoal.
“It is unbecoming of a Supreme Court justice to be talking of the possibility of the President being impeached,” said the Ilocos Norte representative, one of President Duterte’s key allies in the lower chamber.
Fariñas, chair of the powerful House rules committee, also warned Carpio that he was an impeachable officer himself, and that he might have painted himself into a corner by his statement.
“First, he himself is an impeachable official. Second, he has nothing at all to do with the impeachment process. Finally, if ever the Supreme Court does [take up the matter], he would have talked out of turn and laid the basis for his inhibition on the matter,” he said.
The House leader was reacting to Carpio’s reply to an audience question during a forum at the Asian Institute of Management on Friday.
The justice replied that the President could face impeachment if he gave up the country’s sovereignty claims over Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal, under the 1987 Constitution, because once he does, “we can never recover Scarborough forever.”
The Constitution states that the country must pursue an
independent foreign policy, whose paramount consideration shall be “national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.”
Under Article 11 of the Charter, the President may be removed from office on impeachment for, and upon conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.
The House of Representatives has exclusive power to initiate an impeachment proceeding.