Alejano denies destabilization plot vs Duterte
A former soldier turned lawmaker on Thursday denied that his move to file an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte is a destabilization plot against the administration.
Alejano filed the impeachment complaint against Duterte before the Office of the Secretary General in the House of Representatives, which would determine the form and substance of the impeachment complaint.
It remains to be seen if the impeachment complaint would survive the lower House dominated by a supermajority of allies of the administration.
Among the basis of impeachment are culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and other high crimes.
According to the impeachment complaint, Duterte should be impeached for bribing the vigilante squad Davao Death Squad to kill drug pushers and users when he was Davao city mayor and at the height of his administration’s war on drugs.
The president should also be impeached for graft and corruption for alleged ghost employees when he was Davao city mayor, and a P2.2 billion alleged hidden wealth in his bank transactions which was not declared in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities Networth (SALN).
Alejano lamented that the government perceived any form of criticism as a destabilization plot against the administration.
Duterte has said the mining sector is funding a destabilization plot against him. But he cleared from the accusations Vice President Leni Robredo, who stands to gain if Duterte is impeached.
“Ano bang depinisyon ng destabilization? Dapat maliwanag tayo d’yan. Pag ikaw ba nag-criticize sa mga polisiya at actuations ng gobyerno, ‘yan ba ay destabilization?” Alejano said.
(What’s the definition of destabilization? We should be clear about that. If you merely criticize the policies and actuations of the government, is that destabilization?)
Alejano said he filed an impeachment complaint against the president as part of his duties as the opposition and his desire to serve the country.
He said he went through the legal processes of filing an impeachment complaint instead of resorting to extralegal means.
“’Yun po ang ating ginagawa bilang opposisyon ng bansa na ito. Gusto natin bigyan ng alternatibong pananaw ang taumbayan kung ano ba talaga ang tunay na nangyayari,” Alejano said.
(That’s what we should do as part of the opposition in this country. We want to give our countrymen an alternative view about what’s happening in here right now.)
“Walang kasamang extralegal dito. Walang kumita, walang other means to oust the president. Kaya kami dumaan sa mainstream legal na proseso, nagfile kami dahil ‘yun ang sinasaad ng Constitution,” he added.
(We are not doing anything extralegal. No one profited, and there are no other means to oust the president. That’s why we went through the mainstream, legal process; we filed an impeachment complaint because that’s what is provided in the Constitution.)
Alejano said he is alarmed by the tendency of the President to “normalize” an impending declaration of martial law.
“What he’s doing is desensitizing the Filipino people on the issue of martial law,” Alejano said.
Alejano said the administration is turning into a dictatorship if it stifles any form of opposition.
“Kung ito ay kikitilin, nasa martial law tayo, dictatorship, dahil ayaw niya mag-criticize sa policy,” Alejano said.
(If this is suppressed, we are already in martial law, a dictatorship, because he does not want his policy to be criticized.)
Alejano was accompanied by his colleague former Magdalo Rep. Ashley Acedillo during the press conference.
The two former soldiers were involved in the failed 2003 Oakwood mutiny during the Arroyo administration. They are colleagues of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a vocal critic of Duterte.
Acedillo, a former Air Force lieutenant, and Alejano, former Navy captain, were detained for seven years for joining hundreds of Magdalo soldiers led by Trillanes seize the Oakwood serviced apartments in Makati in a failed bid to force Arroyo to resign over alleged corruption.
In 2007, Alejano joined Trillanes in their walk-out from a court hearing to wage a six-hour siege in Manila Peninsula Hotel, before they surrendered to authorities. Acedillo did not join the walk-out.
Alejano was detained in Camp Crame Custodial Center while Acedillo in Villamor Airbase while they face trial for rebellion charges. Trillanes sought amnesty from then President Benigno Aquino III in 2011, and got it two weeks before the Makati Regional Trial Court was to hand down its verdict on the case.
Acedillo and Alejano ran in the 2013 elections under Magdalo party-list which won two seats. Magdalo won only one seat in the 2016 elections.
In the press conference, Alejano said Magdalo would consider filing a supplemental complaint involving Duterte’s alleged culpable violation of the Constitution over his alleged secret deals with China amid the entry of Chinese ships in Benham Rise, another biodiversity hotspot east of Luzon.
Alejano earlier said Duterte may be liable for treason, another impeachable offense, if the administration does not defend its sovereignty over the Benham Rise. IDL
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