No solid ground to oust Pres. Duterte — solons

MANILA — Lawmakers at the House of Representatives said on Thursday there are no sufficient grounds for the impeachment of President Rodrigo Duterte relating to his recent pronouncement that he would not allow the policemen involved in the killing of Albuera town Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. to go to jail.

In an ambush interview, Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao said a presidential impeachment is a “serious allegation” requiring “thorough study” since the Constitution sets specific grounds for such proceedings.

Bag-ao said it is important to look into the facts surrounding the matter through an accurate lens and find solid basis, before jumping into the move of ousting the President.

The lady solon said the President’s statement in defense of the cops behind the killing of the Mayor Espinosa is not enough cause for his removal due to the lack of legal or technical basis.

“Just because the President’s statement is already considered a policy doesn’t mean that the facts or circumstances surrounding it can already be treated as impeachable,” said Bag-ao.

Bag-ao also warned against using impeachment as an instrument or tool for political reasons.

Siquijor Rep. Ramon Rocamora echoed Bag-ao’s statement, saying that the case must be studied first since it involves a lot of technical points.

The National Bureau of Investigation has revealed in its findings that Espinosa was killed in a rubout and not in a shootout as earlier claimed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 operatives.

The investigation also showed that there is testimonial and forensic evidence that the actions of policemen “showed a community of purpose or an implied conspiracy”.