House panel may dispose of Duterte impeachment raps in 2 hearings
The House of Representatives justice committee will look into the two impeachment complaints against President Duterte and dispose of these in just one or two hearings, the committee chairman Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said on Wednesday.
In an interview with reporters, Umali said he would make sure the justice committee, which will determine the form and substance of the two impeachment complaints, would rule on the complaints as soon as possible.
This after Umali received word there are not enough lawmakers to support Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano’s two impeachment complaints against the president.
“I try to dispose of pending matters before my committee at the earliest opportunity… It looks like that they will not support,” Umali said, referring to the former ruling party the Liberal Party, where some members took the opposition’s role in criticizing the administration’s policies, particularly the war on drugs.
“If there will be no support for the President’s impeachment, then I guess it can really be disposed of in one or two hearings,” Umali said.
On Tuesday, majority leader Rudy Fariñas said the lower House would conduct marathon hearings on the impeachment complaints against Duterte, the same way the chamber conducted marathon hearings about Senator Leila De Lima’s alleged involvement in the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.
Farinas, an ally and partymate of Duterte, also said there are not enough numbers in the 292-strong chamber for the impeachment bid to fly.
Alejano filed the two impeachment complaints against Duterte’s alleged role in state-sponsored killings and the Davao Death Squad, as well as his alleged inaction to uphold the country’s sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea, Panatag Shoal and Benham Rise amid the administration’s cooling of ties with China.
Duterte, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and other key allies also face a complaint for crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Even Vice President Leni Robredo also faces impeachment complaints although these were not yet endorsed by a member of Congress.
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