Impeachment a numbers game? Robredo to rely on lawmakers’ principles

Patty Pasion
Impeachment a numbers game? Robredo to rely on lawmakers’ principles
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo says it is 'business as usual' for them, as they hit President Rodrigo Duterte's allies for 'trying to silence critics'

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez may have enough numbers in the House of Representatives but the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo said they are not troubled as they believe lawmakers would decide on an impeachment complaint based on principles.

“Hindi naman po tayo nangangamba bagamat mga numero nga ang usapin diyan (We are not worried even if it is about the numbers),” vice presidential spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said in a radio interview on dzMM on Sunday, March 19.

“Tayo naman ay patuloy na nagtitiwala at naniniwala sa ating mga inihalal na kinatawan sa House of Representatives na titingnan nila batay sa kanilang prinsipyo, batay sa katotohanan at hindi lang basta magdedesisyon kung ano ang sasabihin ng mga – ni Speaker, o ng sinuman na mag-uutos sa kanila,” she added.

(We continue to believe and trust that the members of the House of Representatives elected by the people will assess an impeachment complaint based on their principles and based on the truth. And that they will not decide on whatever the Speaker or whoever else will tell them.)

Alvarez threatened to file an impeachment complaint against Robredo, after he accused her of being behind the complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Robredo has since denied any involvement in the impeachment complaint filed last Thursday, March 16, by Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano. Alejano also said Robredo had nothing to do with the complaint.

Senator President Aquilino Pimentel III, meanwhile, earlier said any complaint against Robredo would have more chances of reaching the Senate than the one against Duterte, since the President’s allies dominate the House.

For an impeachment complaint to be transmitted to the Senate, at least 1/3 of House members have to affirm it. If at least 2/3 of the Senate vote to convict, the President or Vice President will be removed from office. (READ: FAST FACTS: How does impeachment work?)

‘Business as usual’

Hernandez said it’s “business as usual” for them in the Office of the Vice President despite Alvarez’s threat.

“Sa tingin po talaga namin ay walang basehan at purely pananakot lang at natatakot din sila na kung may magsasalita na hindi nila nagugustuhan ay pilit nila na pinapatahimik,” she said.

(We believe it has no basis and it’s purely a threat. They are also scared and they try to silence their critics.)

Robredo’s video to the United Nations (UN) regarding the situation of “helpless” Filipinos amid the government’s war against drugs is one of the things that prompted Alvarez to consider an impeachment case against her. He claimed this is a betrayal of public trust.

But Hernandez has repeatedly explained that the Vice President only stated facts in the video shown during the annual meeting of a UN panel on drugs in Vienna. Hernandez has also called Alvarez’s pronouncement “irresponsible“.

Last week, Duterte cleared Robredo of involvement in the supposed ouster plot against him. But before he left for Myanmar on Sunday, the President said he “will not be surprised” if Robredo is among those trying to remove him from office. – Rappler.com

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.