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Malacañang: Duterte won’t meddle with Sereno impeachment

Pia Ranada
Malacañang: Duterte won’t meddle with Sereno impeachment
The Palace says President Rodrigo Duterte will not influence the House of Representatives if the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is pursued

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte is not likely to meddle with the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

“He would respect any person or any individual who would file any case against any impeachable officer and would not really meddle with it,” said Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag on Thursday, August 3, during a Palace news briefing.

Banaag clarified that “respecting” the complaint submitted by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) to the House of Representatives does not mean the President supports the impeachment.

She said it only means he respects the right of any citizen to file an impeachment complaint with the House of Representatives.

“We respect if and when a civilian would file a complaint against an impeachable officer. That is up to them because that is within the bounds of the law,” said Banaag.

Duterte will leave it to the House to act on the complaint and will not intervene.

Most lawmakers in the House of Representatives are allies of the President. So far, no lawmaker has endorsed the VACC’s complaint, a requirement before it is considered officially filed.

When Marcos loyalists and bloggers filed impeachment complaints against Vice President Leni Robredo, Duterte spoke up, telling his allies to “lay off.” – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.