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Impeachment rules changes proposed

As it formally dismissed the first impeachment complaint filed against President Duterte, the justice committee of the House of Representatives also proposed to amend impeachment proceedings that would allow the junking of a complaint based on insufficiency in form alone.

The justice committee on Monday met to adopt their report formally dismissing the impeachment complaint filed by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano against the President.

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Committee chair Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali said the report would be submitted to the committee on rules by Wednesday.

The committee said it accepted the Alejano complaint as sufficient in form based on liberality, the norm in previous impeachment complaints with Congress.

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But it noted that Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, who grilled Alejano, had said that “this will be the last time the committee exercises liberality in finding defective complaints sufficient in form.”

The committee said a fatal flaw in Alejano’s complaint against Mr. Duterte was his lack of personal knowledge on his allegations against the President, such as the killings of more than 8,000 drug suspects and the ill-gotten wealth of the Chief Executive’s family.

Sought for comment, Alejano said that if the justice committee believed his complaint was insufficient in form, it should have declared so last week instead of accepting it only to propose the amendment in its report.

Moreover, Alejano accused Umali of “double standards,” reminding his colleague that he was part of an impeachment complaint against then Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2011 where none of the legislators had personal knowledge of the accusations they leveled against the late magistrate.

“The small lady just walked in and they used the information she gave,” Alejano said.

Alejano was referring to the controversial “small lady” whom Umali said gave him unauthenticated, photocopied bank records of Corona.

Meanwhile, Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin said the opposition could file another complaint to hold President Duterte “accountable” for his alleged misdeeds next year after the one-year ban on such complaints expires.

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TAGS: Gary Alejano, Impeachment, Philippine news updates, President Duterte
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