Palace welcomes junking of impeachment rap vs Duterte

MALACAÑANG on Monday welcomed the move of the House justice committee to dismiss the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte, citing lack of sufficiency in substance.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the Palace already expects that the House panel would dismiss the complaint that is merely based on “rehashed, trumped up” accusations.

Abella, however, clarified that the executive branch did not influence the House of Representatives, which is dominated by Duterte’s allies, to come up with such decision.

“The House has declared the impeachment complaint filed by Congressman Gary Alejano against PRRD as insufficient in substance. We maintained that it was from rehashed, trumped up charges aimed at undermining the duly constituted government,” Abella said in a statement.

“The President respects a co-equal branch of government and does not interfere in the political exercise. Neither is he beholden to any group and he remains focused on governance,” he added.

The House panel began Monday the hearing on the impeachment complaint against Duterte filed by Alejano.

In March, Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte for his alleged role in "state-sanctioned killings" in his war on drugs and his supposed inaction to invoke the country’s sovereign rights over the disputed West Philippine Sea and Benham Rise.

41 out of 42 committee members voted that the petition is sufficient in form but the 42 were unanimous that it was insufficient in substance. The vote was made after the the House panel conducted an executive session on the impeachment complaint against Duterte.

The House of Representatives has the power to initiate impeachment cases filed by any House lawmaker or citizen.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the House panel’s decision reaffirmed his prior remark that the impeachment case against Duterte would not prosper, as it was lodged just to taint the President’s reputation.

"The complaint is intended to besmirch the reputation of [the President] and to get the three minute of fame of the complainant,” he said.

Duterte is currently in Beijing, China for the Belt and Road Forum when the House of Representatives announced its decision to dismiss the case hurled against him.

Abella said the President is concentrating to pour in more foreign investments to the country to improve the lives of the Filipino people. (SunStar Philippines)
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