Duterte impeachment bid fails to get House panel nod

THE impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte has been deemed sufficient in form but insufficient in substance by the House of Representative's justice panel during its deliberation Monday.

Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary Alejano faced the members of the House committee on justice to defend why his complaint must be approved and elevated to the plenary for voting.

However, his bid to impeach Duterte failed to gain ground as 41 out of the 42 members of the panel approved the Alejano-drafted complaint's form but the same 42 unanimous rejected its substance.

The rules on impeachment dictate that a verified complaint shall be sufficient both in form and substance before it can be voted upon by the entire House members.

Majority floor leader Rodolfo Fariñas grilled Alejano regarding his allegations against Duterte, saying the complaint was not based on his personal knowledge and authentic documents but from news reports and "hearsays."

"Makikita po lahat dito sa footnote galing lahat sa newspaper at editorial...Newspaper reports are not authentic records...Clearly you do not have personal knowledge," Fariñas said.

According to Alejano, Duterte culpably violated the Constitution, engaged in bribery, betrayed public trust, committed graft and corruption, and committed other high crimes.

While Alejano said that he has no personal knowledge in as far as being a witness to the alleged crimes of Duterte, he said he perused documents and talked to witnesses that verified his charges.

Fariñas then warned that Alejano might face ethics complaint and even perjury charges if he continue to insist his position.

The impeachment complaint was filed by Alejano before the House secretary general on March 16 while the supplemental complaint was submitted on March 30.

On May 9, the complaint was referred to the House justice panel.

May 9 will become the reckoning date for the one year impeachment ban rule against covered government officials. (SunStar Philippines)
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