Alvarez twits ‘stupid’ De Lima for saying Duterte could be impeached | Inquirer News
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Alvarez twits ‘stupid’ De Lima for saying Duterte could be impeached

/ 12:21 PM December 15, 2016
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (left) branded Sen. Leila de Lima (right) as 'stupid' for claiming in a CNN interview that President Rodrigo Duterte could be impeached for saying he personally killed crime suspects. Alvarez said a president could not be impeached for 'mere words.' INQUIRER FILES

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (left) branded Sen. Leila de Lima (right) as ‘stupid’ for claiming in a CNN interview that President Rodrigo Duterte could be impeached for saying he personally killed crime suspects. Alvarez said a president could not be impeached for ‘mere words.’ INQUIRER FILES

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Thursday called Senator Leila de Lima “stupid” for claiming President Rodrigo Duterte could be impeached with his admission of personally killing criminals when he was still Davao city mayor.

In a text message to reporters, Alvarez said De Lima was not just a “serial liar” for lying about her alleged role in the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons but she was also stupid for making such a claim in an interview with CNN International.

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READ: De Lima a ‘serial liar,’ says Speaker Alvarez

He said the President could not just be impeached for “mere words.”

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“Hindi lang siya sinungaling, tanga din pala (She’s not just a liar, she’s stupid as well). You cannot just impeach an official for mere words. You have to prove the offense,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez raised the possibility that the President might have just been joking.

“What if the President will say  ‘I was only joking?'” Alvarez said.

For his part, majority leader Rudy Fariñas said Duterte could not be impeached for an alleged act he committed as mayor.

“What if the President will say  ‘I was only joking?'” Alvarez said.

Fariñas said the President could only be impeached for an act he committed as Chief Executive.

“What? The President said that such happened when he was a mayor patrolling the streets of Davao to keep them drug or crime free… The President could only be impeached (for) acts or omissions committed as President!” Fariñas said.

He added that even De Lima herself investigated Duterte’s links to the Davao Death Squad, a vigilante squad allegedly responsible for summary killings of criminals in Davao city, and found no actionable offense.

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Duterte made the admission during the Wallace Business Forum in Malacañang on Monday.

READ: Duterte: I personally killed drug suspects

He said he would ride his bike and go around Davao City seeking an encounter to kill.

“I know it because—I am not trying to pull my own chair—in Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the [policemen] that if I can do it, why can’t you?” Duterte said.

“I go around in Davao (on) a big bike and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble. I was really looking for an encounter to kill,” he added.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the President’s admission was only “hyperbole.”

READ: Duterte admission he did killing just hyperbole?

In an interview with CNN International, De Lima said Duterte’s latest admission that he personally killed drug suspects in Davao city was a ground for impeachment under betrayal of public trust.

“I should say that that is an impeachable offense. That is a culpable violation of the Constitution. That is betrayal of public trust and that constitutes high crimes because these are mass murders,” De Lima said.

“Mass murders certainly fall under the category of high crimes and high crimes is a ground for impeachment under our Constitution,” she added.

She added that she also feared for her life, after having initiated a Senate inquiry into the spate of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug pushers and users at the height of the administration’s war on drugs that has claimed over 6,000 lives.

“I’m not at all safe. I don’t feel safe because of what I’m doing. I have been warned by some friends within the Philippine National Police, that there is a serious security threat against me because of my vocal criticism of what the President is doing,” De Lima said.

READ: AI slams Duterte over claims on killing criminals 

“We do have an unfit President. He just confessed to doing the killing of people in Davao and we know that he’s the one encouraging, promoting, and I know that he is the one promoting and encouraging and tolerating these killings and therefore, that is an impeachable offense. What we have is mass murder,” De Lima said.

De Lima, who is abroad, said she did not plan to flee the accusations against her that she collected payoffs from drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison to finance her senatorial campaign bid when she was justice secretary.

READ: House justice body: Bilibid drugs flourished under De Lima’s watch 

“The President himself has been branding me as the queen of the drug trade in the Philippines. What a preposterous and ridiculous and absurd accusation. It’s all false. These are fabricated accusations. That’s why I’m not afraid to face those charges. I’m innocent, so why should I flee?” De Lima said. CBB/rga

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TAGS: CNN, Drugs, EJKs, extrajudicial killings, Impeachment, Leila de Lima, News, Panteleon Alvarez, Rodrigo Duterte
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