Impeachment papers: Philippine President Duterte 'unfit'

17 March, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Ora Austin
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Opposition lawmakers do not have the numbers necessary to impeach the president, but Alejano said that Duterte's "excesses and crimes" must be brought to light and that public pressure must be brought for impeachment.

"It does seem like part of a larger scheme of things", Abella said.

He noted that the complaint came on the heels of Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo's video message that was scheduled to be played before the 60th annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.

At the same time, Abella maintained that Duterte had not committed any of the offenses he is accused of, including sanctioning the thousands of extrajudicial killings that have marked his war on drugs.

Since the complaint has been verified by Alejano's endorsement, it must now be included in the House of Representatives order of business within 10 session days before being sent to the appropriate committee within three session days after that.

While he admitted that Alejano may have a following in the military, this does not mean that they also share his political views.

It is unlikely the impeachment process will proceed since Duterte's PDP-Laban Party has an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives - two-thirds of the legislature must vote in favor of impeachment, and 260 of the 292 seats in the House are allied with Duterte. "If you [criticizing] this government is already a destabilization move, then there is destabilization all around!"

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In the complaint, Alejano cited Senate testimony from a retired police officer and a former militiaman who claimed they murdered drug suspects and opponents as part of a "death squad" under Duterte when he was mayor of Davao City.

He told reporters, "The President should be impeached due to culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption and other high crimes ..." Mere allegations without proof are not evidence.

Impeachment complaints have been filed against presidents in the Philippines before, with mixed results.

Alvarez said he is "very, very confident" that the impeachment case will not fly in the lower chamber. The ex-Marine who joined the failed 2003 Oakwood rebellion against the Arroyo administration is now going through the constitutional route of ousting presidents. "It will crash like a rudderless plane flown by witless pilots", Calida said.

"This complaint will not deter the President from pursuing vigorously his war against the illegal drug trade, criminality and corruption, as well as demolish the obstacles that shackle our nation in making our country economically developed", Panelo said.

"The President always allows his allies to act independently of him".

The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs assistant secretary Charles Jose announced that Duterte will conduct a state visit to Myanmar from 19 to 20 March, followed by an official visit - slightly less formal than a state visit - to Thailand from 20 to 22 March.

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