Impeachment case vs Duterte won’t fly — House Speaker

President Rodrigo Duterte gives a thumbs up during a press conference in Davao City. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PPD

MANILA — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Thursday said the impeachment complaint lodged against President Rodrigo Duterte will not prosper as it lacks sufficiency in substance and is built on lies.

“I don’t think kung sa substance ay papasa yan, (I don’t think this (impeachment complaint) would pass based on substance),” Alvarez said in a media interview.

Alvarez also described the ouster move against Duterte as “stupid”, noting that the case filed by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano is baseless and futile.

“Kaya nga sinabi kong stupidity dahil nga hindi na kailangang pag-usapan eh, dahil wala talagang basehan eh. Kung walang basehan e walang patutunguhan, (That’s why I said it’s stupidity because we don’t need to discuss it anymore as it really has no basis. If there is no basis, then it would be pointless),” Alvarez said.

In a separate interview, Alvarez said Alejano’s accusations of state killings, graft and corruption are “fabricated”.

“That is stupidity, you know? We know that all these charges are fabricated. They seem to believe their own lies,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez said he is “very, very confident” that the impeachment case will not fly in the lower chamber.

Alejano on Thursday filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte before the Office of Secretary General at the House of Representatives, the first ouster move since Duterte’s assumption to office as President.

Alejano cited five grounds for impeachment including violation of constitution, bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and other high crimes.

In a press conference, Alejano said his impeachment complaint is mainly based on Duterte’s state policy of killing drug offenders which resulted in over 8,000 deaths, as well as the reported 1,400 suspicious killings by the Davao Death Squad while Duterte was still mayor.

Alejano further said the President should be impeached for graft and corruption for his alleged PHP2.2 billion undeclared wealth and other properties not indicated in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.

Alejano also said Duterte employed more than 11,000 ghost employees when he was still Davao City mayor.

For his part, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said most of Alejano’s allegations occurred when Duterte was still mayor in Davao City, noting that an official can only be impeached for acts committed in his present office.

“Since the allegations made while he (Duterte) was mayor were widely publicized and known by the voters when they elected him as President, the clear mandate given to him by the people has to be respected,” Fariñas said.

“This is the jurisprudence even with respect to elected or reelected local officials,” he added. Filane Cervantes/

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