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House majority urged to junk ‘sham’ impeachment rap vs Robredo

/ 05:46 PM March 21, 2017
Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo waits to address government employees during flag-raising rites at the Quezon City hall Monday, March 20, 2017 in suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo waits to address government employees during flag-raising rites at the Quezon City hall Monday, March 20, 2017 in suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

A House of Representatives leader from the Liberal Party on Tuesday appealed to the majority not to waste its time on the “sham” impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo.

In an interview with reporters on Tuesday, Deputy Speaker Romero Quimbo said the rainbow “super majority” coalition in the House would only waste its time tackling a “sham” impeachment complaint, a draft of which was endorsed to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez by Melchor Chavez and Oliver Lozano.

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READ: 2 Marcos loyalists seek endorsement of impeachment rap vs Robredo

The Marikina congressman said this sham complaint is “doomed” to fail because it has no basis.

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“Talagang wala siyang basehan. It’s a sham,” Quimbo said, noting too that the impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte filed by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano was “premature.”

Quimbo said it is not timely for the lower house to tackle impeachment complaints against Duterte and Robredo on the heels of an election.

“It’s not timely… It’s not wise for our democracy to even talk about impeachment when we just had an election,” Quimbo said.

READ: No evidence yet to impeach Duterte, Robredo – solon

Quimbo appealed to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to listen to all members about the impeachment complaint against the vice president which could derail other pertinent pieces of legislation pending in Congress.

“The Speaker is someone who wears his emotions on his sleeves… I’m sure he will see the effect of this impeachment in the House of Representatives, which could become a tool for politicking,” Quimbo said.

Quimbo noted too that the complaint was a “political sideshow” by defeated vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos, because the complainants Chavez and Lozano are loyalists of his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

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Former senator Bongbong Marcos lost to Robredo in the 2016 vice presidential race. Marcos has filed an electoral protest against Robredo.

READ: Robredo impeachment will fly in House, says solon 

“Those who filed the impeachment case against Vice President Leni are Marcos loyalists. The principal rival of Leni is Bongbong Marcos, who is insisting that the election was a fraud,” Quimbo said.

In their draft impeachment complaint, Lozano and Chavez accused Robredo of allegedly committing betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the 1987 Constitution due to her criticisms of the administration’s drug war in a video she sent to the United Nations.

“We respectfully request that you endorse the attached complaint for impeachment against Leni Robredo,” Lozano and Chavez said in their letter to Alvarez.

Lozano was a serial impeachment filer during the administrations of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III. He filed an impeachment complaint against Arroyo five times and Aquino twice. Lozano was a former lawyer of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Meanwhile, Chavez was declared by the Commission on Election as nuisance candidate. He is a member of Marcos’ political party Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.

READ: For stealing his thunder, serial impeachment filer sues solon

The Marcos loyalists said Robredo is a “termite of the government” and that her “unfaithfulness has extended to the betrayal of the public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.”

According to the impeachment complaint, Robredo “betrayed the people by shaming the nation with her dishonest message to the United Nation.”

“The respondent is duty bound to act within the framework of the Constitution but her acts of dishonesty and moral bankruptcy breached the bounds of the fundamental law,” the complaint read.

READ: Robredo called ‘termite of government’ in impeach complaint

Chavez and Lozano asked Alvarez to endorse the impeachment complaint just after the Speaker said he was studying the possibility of filing an impeachment complaint against Robredo for betrayal of public trust.

Alvarez bristled at Robredo’s video message to the United Nations critical of the administration’s war on drugs and accused the Vice President of painting the country in a bad light before the international community, which has serious economic consequences.

“Ang pananaw ko dito, may betrayal of public trust (In my view, there’s betrayal of public trust),” Alvarez earlier said.

READ: Speaker: ‘Worried’ Robredo involved in move to impeach Duterte

“Kung ikaw, ipagpapalagay nating totoo ang pagkakahalal, sisiraan mo ang bayan sa international community nang walang pakundangan, ano ang magiging epekto nun? Economically, may impact po yun,” Alvarez said.

(If we assume that her election in office was legitimate and true, and then you put the country in a bad light before the international community, what would be the effect of that? Economically, there will be an impact.)

“Pinipinta niya ang bayan natin na hindi maganda sa mata ng international community,” Alvarez added.

(She is painting the country in a bad light before the eyes of the international community.)

Alvarez also took a hit at the legitimacy of Vice President Robredo, who faces an election protest filed by former senator Marcos after the latter lost by a margin of 200,000 votes. Bongbong is the son of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

READ: Robredo to Marcos: Move on

An impeachment complaint was mulled against Robredo just days after Magdalo Rep. Alejano first filed the complaint against President Duterte for the latter’s alleged hand in the vigilante killings by the Davao Death Squad and the spate of extrajudicial killings at the height of his administration’s war on drugs, as well as his alleged P2.2 billion hidden wealth.

READ: 1st impeachment complaint filed vs Duterte for killings, graft

Alvarez then tagged Robredo as being behind the impeachment move against Duterte, noting that the filing of Magdalo’s impeachment complaint coincided with her message to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs blasting the administration’s narcotics war.

Robredo also exposed the alleged “palit ulo” scheme where poor families were rounded up by the police who would then demand that relatives would be taken in exchange for the accused drug personalities if the latter were missing.

Robredo’s six-minute video was shown at the 60th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs annual meeting in Vienna./rga

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