LP solons vow to block moves to impeach Robredo
Fifteen Liberal Party (LP) lawmakers from a pro-Duterte coalition of parties in the House of Representatives met with Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday, agreeing to block all attempts to impeach her, one of the LP members said yesterday.
Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo, a ranking LP leader, said the consensus was reached when the LP members met with Robredo at her office in Quezon City.
He said the LP members also had pledged their “strongest commitment of support” to Robredo, currently LP chair.
Robredo had drawn the ire of supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte after she sent a video message to a United Nations event raising alarm over extrajudicial killings linked to Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs.
Quimbo said the threat of impeachment hanging over Robredo and Mr. Duterte was among the topics of the meeting at Robredo’s office.
In a statement, Quimbo said devoting the House’s time to “any impeachment complaint today will only be divisive.”
“It will only serve to distract us from the many important matters that Congress should be giving priority to,” Quimbo said.
He said the LP members “categorically took a position that we will not support any of the impeachment complaints filed against the leaders of the land.” Quimbo did not mention Mr. Duterte’s name in the statement, though.
At least 32 House members still belong to LP, the party in power during the Aquino administration. Five of them had formed an independent opposition bloc.
In March, an impeachment complaint was filed against Mr. Duterte by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, accusing the President of the mass murder of thousands of drug suspects, amassing P2.2 billion in unexplained wealth and absconding on his duty to defend Philippine territory against China.
Robredo’s video message to the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs became public on the same day Alejano’s complaint was filed.
Marcos loyalists, led by lawyer Oliver Lozano, filed an impeachment complaint against Robredo at the Speaker’s office for endorsement. Another group is building a case against her.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a bosom buddy of Mr. Duterte, expressed support for the impeachment complaint against Robredo.
Robredo confirmed the meeting with the 15 LP members.
“They said they agreed among themselves that they will protect me,” she said in a transcript of an interview sent by her staffers.
Robredo said she would discuss the matter with more LP members soon but said there is no plan, yet, for LP members to bolt the pro-Duterte coalition in the House.