Impeachment complaints vs Duterte, Robredo ‘doomed,’ says LP leader

Mara Cepeda
Impeachment complaints vs Duterte, Robredo ‘doomed,’ says LP leader
Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo says there are many smart lawmakers in the House who will refuse to be used in political infighting

MANILA, Philippines – Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo, a stalwart of the Liberal Party (LP), believes the first impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte and the planned complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo will both fail in Congress.

“For different reasons, both those complaints are doomed,” said the Marikina City 2nd District representative on Tuesday, March 21. As Deputy Speaker, Quimbo is the highest ranking member of the LP in the House.  

He said Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano’s impeachment complaint against Duterte will not prosper given its timing and the President’s popularity. 

“The complaint against the President, I see no chance of it gaining any support simply because it is ill-timed and it is not grounded on a wellspring of emotions coming from a lot of people. The President is very popular! You don’t do that to a popular president,” said Quimbo.

He added the President also enjoys strong support in the House, where at least 217 lawmakers are allied with the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan. 

Likewise, Quimbo doubts the success of the impeachment complaint against Robredo that two Marcos loyalists drafted and want Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to endorse. 

“‘Yung kay Vice President Leni tingin ko (The one on Vice President Leni I think) is also doomed for the very simple reason that it’s a sham. The LP may be a vast minority in the House, but ‘yung dami ng matatalinong congressman, napakarami naman dito sa House, na sigurado ako ‘di magpapagamit sa usaping ito (but there are many smart congressmen here in the House that I’m sure no one will allow themselves to be used in this issue),” said Quimbo.

Lawyer Oliver Lozano and broadcaster Melchor Chavez had sent a 6-page impeachment complaint against Robredo to the office of Alvarez.  

They are accusing the Vice President of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust after she sent a video criticizing the ongoing war against drugs to the United Nations (UN).

Robredo’s camp had explained they sent that video as early as February, and had nothing to do with the organizers’ timing of its release for a UN conference.

Defending the VP

Alvarez himself suspects Robredo is behind the impeachment complaint against Duterte. The Speaker said he is mulling the filing of an impeachment complaint against her over the same UN video.  

The Vice President’s camp, however, denied any involvement in Alejano’s impeachment complaint against Duterte. Alejano also said Robredo and the LP have nothing to do with the complaint.

But should an impeachment complaint be officially filed against Robredo, Quimbo said the LP lawmakers will be fighting for her.

“Siyempre ipagtatanggol natin. Hindi naman puwedeng hindi,” said Quimbo. (Of course we will defend her. We have to.)

But he said there is a greater challenge being posed to his colleagues in the House.

“Tingin ko may mas mabigat na panawagan. Ang panawagan dito is ‘di puwedeng magpagamit ang House of Representatives sa ganitong klaseng political infighting na sa tingin natin ay ‘di napapanahon,” he said.

(I think there is a bigger call. The call here is for the House of Representatives not to allow itself to be used in this kind of political infighting, which I think, is not timely.) – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.