A Magdalo party-list, Representative Gary Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte over alleged killings and corruptions on Thursday, March 16.
Alejano, filed the 16 pages complaint before the House of Representatives’ Office of the Secretary-General.
Alejano believed that the President should be impeached on the following grounds:
- Culpable violation of the Constitution
- Engaging in bribery
- Betrayal of public trust
- Graft and corruption
- Other high crimes
Section 2 of the Constitution states: “The President, the Vice President, the members of the Supreme Court, the members of the constitutional commission, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on impeachment for and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft, and corruption, other higher crimes or betrayal of public trust.”
Alejano is an ally of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who’s Duterte most vocal critics in the senate. According to him, more than 8,000 have died today which is very much alarming. He also cited the 1,400 deaths allegedly at the hands of Davao Death Squad (DDS) when Duterte was still the Mayor of Davao.
Alejano also stated that he was studying whether to include in the complaint allegations that Duterte has a secret dealing with China after the Chinese survey ships were found in the Benham Rise area of the Philippines’ Pacific coast.
If the complaint will soon be approved by the House, it will be heard by the Senate, which will set up as an impeachment court. At least a two-thirds vote of the 292-member House Representatives is needed to convict an impeached official.
However, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II belittle the impeachment complaint file to President Duterte because it has no factual and legal basis .
“The impeachment complaint has no factual and legal basis. The allegations in the complaint are not anchored on concrete solid evidence that would support findings of any of the enumerated grounds for impeachment. Suntok sa buwan yan.” Aguire said.
Aguirre also believes that it is only part of destabilization to Duterte administration. According to her the President was not also alarmed on the impeachment complaints towards him.
Solicitor General Jose Calida also supported the position of Aguirre, wherein he accused Alejano as a “puppy” of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV which is known as Duterte’s most vocal critics in the senate.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also commented on Alejano’s filing of impeachment complaint against the president. He called Alejano’s complaint as “plain and simple stupidity.”
On the other hand, Alejano admits that having Duterte ousted through impeachment proceedings is an “uphill battle” due to the overwhelming force of the majority. Yet he is also confident that the complaint would gather enough support, despite the fact that the House of Representatives being dominated by the President’s allies.
Meanwhile, the last chief executive that was impeached by the congress was former President Joseph Estrada, following corruption allegations in 2000. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona was also impeached for allegedly hiding his assets and was found guilty by the Senate impeachment court year 2012.