MANILA, Philippines – The impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte has no factual and legal basis, and was filed in aid of destabilization, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Thursday, March 16.
“The impeachment complaint has no factual and legal basis. The allegations in the complaint are not anchored on concrete solid evidence that would support findings of any of the enumerated grounds for impeachment. Suntok sa buwan ‘yan (It’s a shot at the moon),” Aguirre said in a statement.
Magdalo Party List Representative Gary Alejano filed the complaint, accusing Duterte of culpable violation of the Constituton, bribery, betrayal of the public trust, graft and corruption, and other high crimes.
He cited the President’s alleged involvement in the creation of the Davao Death Squad when he was mayor; his war on drugs since he became president, which has led to the alleged summary killing of over 7,000; and his supposed unexplained wealth in the form of bank deposits and undeclared properties, among others. (READ: Highlights: Impeachment complaint vs Duterte)
Without providing details, the justice secretary said the complaint could be part of a wider plot to destabilize the Duterte administration.
The President, according to Aguirre, is unaffected by the impeachment complaint. He said Duterte will continue doing what is good for the country and the Filipino people.
Impeachment won’t fly
Solicitor General Jose Calida, for his part, said, “Representative Alejano is a toady of his braggart patron, Senator [Antonio] Trillanes [IV]. They are not even in the league of Don Quixote so this impeachment won’t fly. It will crash like a rudderless plane flown by witless pilots.”
Calida said Alejano is acting like a “puppet” of Trillanes, a known critic of the President.
In a statement, he said that his office is “ready and raring to crush their puerile and futile attempts to destabilize our country.”
He also said, “I urge you to treat this impeachment as a desperate attempt of spoiled grown-up brats to destabilize our country. They will not succeed. There are no valid grounds under our Constitution and laws to impeach President Duterte…Impeachment won’t fly.”
Duterte enjoys majority support in the House of Representatives, where a vote of one-third of all members is needed to endorse the complaint to the Senate for trial.
Alejano’s impeachment complaint is the first to be filed against Duterte. – Rappler.com