Alejano files supplemental impeach rap vs Pres. Duterte

MANILA — Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano on Thursday filed a supplemental impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte regarding his foreign policy over disputed territories with China including Benham Rise, Panatag Shoal and the rest of the West Philippine Sea.

Alejano filed the 13-page supplementary complaint before the Secretary General of the House of Representatives.

In a press conference, Alejano said Duterte failed to assert the country’s sovereign and maritime rights over the disputed islands, accusing the latter of betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, and other high crimes.

“Respondent Rodrigo Roa Duterte betrayed the public trust reposed upon him, culpably violated the Constitution and committed the high crime of dereliction of his sworn duty as President when he utterly failed and/or refused to assert the country’s exclusive sovereign rights and maritime rights and territorial claims over Benham Rise and Panatag Shoal and the rest of the West Philippine Sea,” Alejano said.

Alejano argued that Duterte took a “defeatist” stance with China as the Asian superpower has been actively building military outposts on disputed islands in the South China Sea.

“While no one is expecting Duterte to declare war with China over these territorial disputes, as President and Commander-In-Chief and Chief Diplomat of the country, he should condemn China’s aggressive actions and expansionism, and insist it to respect the exclusive sovereign rights, and maritime and territorial claims of the country through diplomatic and peaceful means,” Alejano said.

On March 16, Alejano filed the first impeachment complaint against the President on the grounds of culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and other high crimes.

Alejano sought the ouster of Duterte for his state policy on drugs which resulted in a spate of summary executions and extrajudicial killings; his alleged links in the vigilante killings by the Davao Death Squad; and his alleged PHP2.2 billion hidden wealth. Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA-northboundasia.com