Impeachment case vs Duterte won’t prosper in Congress dominated by ‘supermajority’

Published July 19, 2019, 12:53 PM

by Gabriela Baron & Minka Klaudia Tiangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

Any impeachment complaint against President Duterte will not slip past the administration “supermajority” in Congress, a Palace official said Friday amid reports some groups might make such attempt at the opening of the 18th Congress.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar (ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar (ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that, while filing an impeachment against the President was nothing new, he expressed confidence it would not prevail when reviewed by the administration allies.

“Halos every administration naman ginagawa ng mga militante iyan, hindi na bago iyan at kung anuman iyong mga impeachment complaint na kanilang isusumite diyan sa Kongreso, iyan naman ay haharapin din ng… at pag-aaralan din ng mga congressman [The militants have done that almost every administration. It’s nothing new and any impeachment complaint they will submit to Congress, that will be studied by the congressmen]” he said in a television interview.

“I’m pretty certain that with the super majority ay hindi makakalusot iyan [it will not get through],” he said.

The President earlier said he would send to jail critics of his West Philippine Sea policy if they would try to impeach him. He insisted that he has done nothing unconstitutional when he claimed China cannot be stopped from fishing in the country’s waters out of friendship.

Recently, he explained the country owned the West Philippine Sea, but China has been merely granted “traditional fishing rights” in the area. A fishing arrangement was also reportedly reached between Duterte and Chinese Xi Jinping to ease the tension in the disputed territory.

The Palace earlier said any person or group planning to file an impeachment case against President Duterte should take a “reality check” to avoid embarrassment since such baseless complaint will likely not prosper.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said while any Filipino was free to seek the President’s impeachment, Duterte has neither violated the Constitution nor committed any impeachable offense.

Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), an alliance of fisherfolk groups, reportedly plans to lodge an impeachment complaint against the President during the opening of the 18th Congress this month.

The group alleged that Duterte has allegedly committed treason and violated the Constitution amid alleged failure to defend the country’s rights in the West Philippine Sea.