Alvarez admits House will struggle if faced with 3 impeachment complaints

Mara Cepeda
Alvarez admits House will struggle if faced with 3 impeachment complaints
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says he is still studying whether or not to push through with his plan to have Vice President Leni Robredo impeached

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez admitted lawmakers will have a hard time passing laws if they will be reviewing 3 impeachment complaints. 

The Speaker was asked on Tuesday, May 9, if the House would be able to handle tackling two more possible impeachment complaints apart from the one already filed against President Rodrigo Duterte. 

Ah definitely not. Mahihirapan tayo kasi dapat nating alalahanin na end of the month eh recess na ‘yung Congress nun. Ang balik natin SONA (State of the Nation Address) na. Tapos ‘pag pasok ng SONA ay yung budget hearing naman. So ‘yan ay tatakbo hanggang November,” said Alvarez in an ambush interview.

(We’ll be struggling because at the end of the month, Congress will take a recess. When we return, it’s the SONA already. Then after the SONA, the budget hearings will follow. These will run until November.) 

Medyo kakapusin tayo sa panahon (We will probably lose time),” he added.

Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano already filed the first impeachment complaint against the President in March.

Weeks later, two groups – the tandem of Marcos loyalists Oliver Lozano and Melchor Chavez as well as the Impeach Leni Movement – drafted their own impeachment complaints against Vice President Leni Robredo. (READ: Still no endorsers for Robredo impeachment complaint

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption are also drafting an impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. (READ: VACC to file impeachment complaint vs Ombudsman when Alvarez returns

The groups who want to impeach Robredo and Morales are all seeking an endorsement from lawmakers, including Alvarez himself.

The 1987 Constitution allows any Filipino citizen to initiate an impeachment complaint, but the document must be endorsed by a lawmaker for it to be considered officially filed. (READ: FAST FACTS: How does impeachment work?)

According to Alvarez, the House will be prioritizing the impeachment complaint against Duterte. (READ: House hearing on Duterte impeachment complaint eyed on May 15)

Well ‘yung unang nai-file na impeachment against the President, kailangan i-tackle na siguro ‘yun. Kasi na-refer na yun sa committee on justice. So dapat the committee on justice must act on it,” he said.

(Well, the first impeachment complaint against the President should be tackled already. That’s because it has been referred to the committee on justice. So the committee on justice must act on it.) 

Still studying Robredo impeachment plan 

Alvarez himself is mulling the filing of an impeachment complaint against Robredo after she criticized Duterte’s war against drugs in a video played at an event in Vienna, Austria mounted by a non-governmental organization.  

The Speaker also believes Robredo is behind the impeachment complaint against the President. 

Alvarez, however, said he is continuing to study whether or not he should push through with his plan to have Robredo impeached. 

Wala naman akong sinasabi na talagang magpa-file ako. ‘Di ba, kaya sabi ko noon, pag-aaralan ko? Ngayon kung meron namang substance, bakit hindi?” said Alvarez. 

(I didn’t actually say I will be filing. I only said before that I would be studying it, right? So if there is substance, why not?) 

He said he is also studying the impeachment complaint against Morales that the VACC sent him to review. – 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.