Palace has better things to do than seek the impeachment of Robredo – Panelo

Published July 15, 2019, 5:14 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang is not keen on backing any possible impeachment complaint that may be filed against Vice President Leni Robredo, saying the Palace has other things to do.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Manuelito Luna said that Robredo can be impeached for supporting the resolution of the United Nations (UN) to probe the human rights situation in the Philippines under President Duterte’s drug war.

In his press briefing, Panelo said that the Palace has better things to do than back an impeachment complaint against the second most powerful government official in the country.

“You know, we have better things to do. There are so many problems in this country,” he said Monday.

The Palace official, however, said the Palace leaves it to Luna to pursue the case if he thinks it is appropriate.

“I will leave it to those who would want to initiate whatever they want to initiate against whomsoever,” Panelo said.

“Siguro, he’ll pursue that line kung ‘yan ang kaniyang paniniwala (Perhaps he’ll pursue that line if that is what he thinks it is),” he added.

However, Panelo expressed doubt about how an impeachment complaint against Robredo might progress but will allow the impeachment court to determine if it will have basis.

“If he considers the statement of the Vice President as… What does he consider it? Is ignorance of the betrayal of public trust? That’s my response,” he said.

“If gross ignorance is the ground for impeachment, is that a ground under the Constitution?” he added.

“There are as many opinions as there are lawyers. The Impeachment Court will be the ultimate decider of that issue,” he continued.

In a statement, Luna said that Robredo’s expression of support to the UNHRC resolution against the Philippine government may cause her to be impeached.

“For the nth time, she has made it appear that the government is guilty of human rights abuses, and that’s betrayal of public trust,” Luna said.

“It’s about time that she should be held to account for her political sins against the Filipino people,” he added.

Robredo’s camp, meanwhile, said the Vice President is not threatened by the threat of the PACC commissioner.

On Monday, Luna, explained that his impeachment remarks against Robredo was just a warning and that he does not intend to file an impeachment complaint against the Vice President.

In an interview over ANC Monday, Luna asked Robredo to temper her statements.

“It’s a warning so she can also think it over, that she has to temper her statements. Although I respect her, she’s a politician, she’s a lawyer like me but she has to temper her statements,” he said.

“Do not embarrass our government internationally. You can always ventilate matters within and we can debate all day, all night without accusing our government of wrongdoings without substantial basis,” he added.