Suarez-led minority bloc won’t support impeach bid vs Duterte

MANILA — The minority bloc of the House of Representatives on Wednesday said that it will not support the impeachment proceedings against President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a press conference, House minority leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said the 18-member bloc will go by a united vote over the impeachment complaints lodged against Duterte.

“Digong’s impeachment? Forget it,” Suarez said, noting that it is highly unlikely that a President with a lot of political capital like Duterte will be impeached.

“You’ll impeach someone with an 80 percent acceptance rating? That is political suicide. You don’t criticize someone with an 80 percent acceptance rating… Plus the fact that he’s doing good,” Suarez added.

Suarez said he is impressed with the performance of the President after almost a year since his assumption.

For his part, ACTS OFW Partylist Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz said apart from the stand of the House minority, the sector of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) will also not throw support to any impeach move against Duterte.

“Hindi namin ito susuportahan kasi sa dami ng administrasyon na nagdaan, ngayon lang kami nakaramdam talaga ng presidenteng may puso at malasakit sa mga OFW, (We will not support it because it is only now that we have a president who has a heart and compassion for OFWs compared with any previous administration),” Bertiz said.

The lower chamber is set to tackle next week the two impeachment complaints filed by Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano against President Duterte.

On Tuesday’s plenary session, the two impeachment complaints were referred to the House justice committee, which is tasked to determine the complaints’ form and substance are sufficient.

Alejano sought the ouster of Duterte for his state policy on drugs which resulted in alleged spate of summary executions and extrajudicial killings; his links in the vigilante killings by the Davao Death Squad; and his alleged PHP2.2 billion hidden wealth.

Alejano then filed a supplemental complaint regarding Duterte’s failure to assert the country’s sovereign and maritime rights over disputed territories with China including Benham Rise, Panatag Shoal and the rest of the West Philippine Sea. Filane Mikee Cervantes/