No endorsement for Robredo, Ombudsman impeachment in next 3 months – Alvarez

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said no endorsement for the impeachment complaints drafted against Vice President Leni Robredo and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales should be expected anytime soon. 

Alvarez said on Tuesday, May 16, that lawmakers are still studying the contents of the impeachment complaints against the two officials. 

According to the Speaker, the earliest time the public may expect an endorsement will be in August. This is because the 17th Congress will take a break starting June 3 and resume session sometime in August.  

"Wala pa. Pinapag-aralan pa no'ng mga congressman… [May aabot ba'ng endorsement] before adjournment? Baka too close," said Alvarez.  

(None yet. Congressmen are still studying the draft impeachment complaints... Will an endorsement happen before adjournment? That might be too close.)

Two groups – the tandem of Marcos loyalists Oliver Lozano and Melchor Chavez as well as the Impeach Leni Movement – are urging lawmakers to endorse their impeachment complaint against Robredo. (READ: Still no endorsers for Robredo impeachment complaint)

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, meanwhile, drafted an impeachment complaint against the Ombudsman.

Any Filipino citizen may initiate an impeachment complaint, but the document must be endorsed by a lawmaker for it to be considered filed at the House. (READ: FAST FACTS: How does impeachment work?

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

But Alvarez said lawmakers take time in studying an impeachment complaint because they must be able to stand by the document should they endorse it. 

"Kasi pag-aaralan pa natin nang mabuti 'yan. Alam mo, 'yun nga ang sinasabi natin. Hindi lang basta-basta ka mag-endorse ng impeachment complaint. Tignan natin kung kaya ba nating panindigan 'yan. Can it stand in an impeachment court? Kasi 'pag hindi, nakakahiya lang," said Alvarez.

(We have to study this carefully. You know, that's what I'm talking about. You can't just endorse an impeachment complaint. We have to check if we can stand by it. Can it stand in an impeachment court? Because if it cannot, then it will be embarrassing for us.) 

The House committee on justice already junked the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte by Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano. The hearing only took 4 hours. (READ: Alejano slams House as Duterte puppet after losing impeachment bid– Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

image