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With the two top leaders of Congress likely to be beneficiaries of moves to unseat the President and the Vice President, an administration lawmaker called for an “impeachment ceasefire” between the camps of President Duterte and Vice President Leni G. Robredo.
This developed as lawmakers backed House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez’s plan to seek Robredo’s ouster via impeachment.
House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia said Robredo’s video message to the United Nations could trigger “dire economic circumstances,” thus clearly an act of betrayal of public trust.
On Thursday, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, a member of the so-called House “Magnificent 7” that is allied with Robredo, filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte, citing culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and other high crimes as grounds.
While politics makes the simultaneous ouster of Duterte and Robredo an improbable event, the filing of impeachment complaints still threatens the two leaders with removal.
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, chairman of the House Committee Metro Manila Development, said impeaching the two leaders is “highly politically divisive and explosive process” that could only deepen political wounds between the groups of Duterte and the previous administration under President Benigno S. Aquino III of the Liberal Party.
“Impeaching the top two leaders of the country – whether or not either succeeds – will get us nowhere and only make things worse for our already divided nation,” Castelo said.
“We face serious problems that – in order to resolve – require not only serious and dedicated leaders, but more importantly sacrifices from all of us and national unity,” he stressed.
Duterte administration allies backed Alvarez’s plan to push for Robredo’s ouster for allegedly putting the country in bad light and jeopardizing its diplomatic relations and its economy by destroying the government’s image before the United Nations.
“Speaker Alvarez is right. That video was either irresponsible or malicious, or both,” stated Garcia in a text message, referring to the video recording made by Robredo and sent to the UN Commission on Narcotics and Drugs which is set to hold its 60th annual meeting in Vienna, Austria.
Reports have indicated that Robredo’s video message assailed Duterte’s war on drugs that has resulted in the death of at least 8,000 individuals since it was launched by the Chief Executive in June 2016.
“The negative image that it portrays of the Philippines could have dire economic consequences. That is a clear betrayal of public trust,” said Garcia. (Ben R. Rosario)