By Genalyn Kabiling
Any impeachment bid against President Duterte over alleged failure to assert the country’s ownership of the West Philippine Sea is doomed to fail, Malacañang insisted on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Magdalo party list Rep. Gary Alejano has the right to seek the President’s impeachment but his attempt would not prosper due to lack of basis and support.
“Nagawa na naman niyang magsampa dati ng impeachment complaint laban kay Presidente, karapatan po niya iyan at kung meron naman siyang numero, eh siguro po magiging successful siya,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
“Pero sa akin po, walang suportang makukuha iyan kasi wala pong legal na basehan iyang impeachment na isasampa niya,” he added.
Roque instead urged Alejano to hold accountable past administration officials who allowed China’s reclamation works to flourish under their watch.
“Ang dapat niya po sigurong habulin, eh iyong mga tao na pinayagang magawa iyang mga artificial na island na iyan noong panahon ng administrasyon na siya po ay isang kakampi.
Alejano earlier revealed that his group was exploring the possibility of filing a fresh impeachment complaint against Duterte for allegedly failing to address the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
The President could be removed from office for alleged dereliction of duty over the West Philippine Sea issues, according to the lawmaker.
Last year, Alejano also filed an impeachment complaint against the President, which was dismissed by a House panel for being insufficient in substance.
Meantime, the President has reiterated his policy against meddling in the armed conflict between the China and the United States over the South China Sea issue.
The two power giants have been at odds following China’s deployment of missile to the disputed territory. The United States has warned China against its growing militarization in the South China Sea but Beijing insisted it has sovereignty over the territory.
“The President reiterated his policy on China which really is not new. He says that he will not be involved in any armed confrontation between China and the United States,” Roque said.
“It is not to our national interest to get involved in any armed conflict although any such armed conflict is a reason for us to be concerned, because it is in our Exclusive Economic Zone, it is in our backyard,” he added.