Alvarez on first impeachment rap vs Duterte: It’s stupidity
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Thursday dismissed as “stupid” the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte at the House of Representatives.
“We are all entitled to our own stupidity,” Alvarez said in a television interview.
Alvarez only laughed when asked if the impeachment complaint against Duterte had form and substance.
Alvarez said he is confident the impeachment complaint filed by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano would not pass the lower house, dominated by a supermajority of administration allies.
“Medyo tabingi ‘yung ihinain sa impeachment complaint. Huwag na tayo makarating sa numbers, pag-usapan na lang natin ‘yung substance. I don’t think kung sa substance, ay papasa ‘yan,” Alvarez said.
(The impeachment complaint is not sufficient in form. Let’s not talk about the numbers anymore. Let’s just talk about the substance. I don’t think this would pass in terms of substance.)
Alvarez said it is easy to claim that the President committed a culpable violation of the 1987 Constitution.
“As a lawyer, madaling magsulat ng (it is easy to write that there is) culpable violation of the Constitution. But to prove it is another thing,” Alvarez said.
“Kaya sinabi kong stupidity, dahil nga hindi na kailangang pag-usapan, dahil wala talagang basehan. Kung walang basehan, walang patutunguhan,” he added.
(That’s why I said it’s stupidity, because we don’t even need to discuss this anymore, because there really is no basis. If there is no basis, there will be no direction.)
Alejano on Thursday 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.
He denied that this is part of a destabilization plot against the administration.
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 having P2.2 billion alleged hidden wealth in his bank transactions which was not declared in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities Networth (SALN).
Alejano said Magdalo would study filing a supplemental impeachment complaint involving Duterte’s alleged culpable violation of the Constitution for 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.
China has said the Philippines could not claim Benham Rise as its own territory, and that the passage of the Chinese survey ships supposedly to look for submarine stations was an “innocent passage” supported by international law. JE/rga
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