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After being pummeled by the confidential funds controversy, Vice President Sara Duterte has now become the subject of impeachment rumors.
House lawmakers, however, were quick to brand these rumors as “fake news” and agreed that there was no basis for such a complaint.
For now, at least.
Where did the “rumor” come from? ACT Teachers Representative France Castro was quoted by media earlier this week that there were reported discussions in the House about the possible impeachment of Duterte. On Friday, November 17, Castro clarified that such talks were only done through “informal” discussions.
Castro reiterated that discussions to unseat Duterte are still “premature.” At the same time, the Makabayan bloc noted that talks to impeach the Vice President – even if done only on the sidelines and have been nothing but casual – “highlights the growing rift in the supposed UniTeam.”
ACT-CIS Representative Erwin Tulfo said lawmakers in the lower chamber are not ganging up on Duterte in favor of House Speaker Martin Romualdez.
“There is no substance to these discussions; no such thing has been deliberated among party leaders or the House leadership,” Tulfo said on Thursday.
Weeks ago, the Vice President’s father attacked Romualdez and the House of Representatives, in the process also threatening Castro, on live television after the chamber denied the requests of the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education for confidential and intelligence funds for 2024.
Multiple lawmakers have since jumped ship from the Duterte-led PDP-Laban to Romualdez’s Lakas-CMD. PDP-Laban used to have the most number of members in the lower chamber when it was still the ruling party, but Lakas-CMD and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s Partido Federal ng Pilipinas are now looking to be the most influential, following the exodus.
Among them is Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr., who moved to Lakas-CMD from PDP-Laban, but not before noting that his former party chairman, former president Rodrigo Duterte, called the lower chamber the “most rotten” in Philippine government during his television rant.
House Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe was also quick to dispel the impeachment rumors on Thursday, implying that the intrigue was started by those who want to “sow discord” between Duterte and Romualdez.
Lawmakers also pointed out that the Vice President does not have an impeachable offense yet.
“What’s the basis?” Tulfo asked on ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Headstart” on Friday, November 17.
“I was thinking about it last night, is [the impeachment] about the CIF? Will that hold? I don’t know but right now, where we’re looking, it will not gain something or it might not even pass the secretary general,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
While the Vice President has since canceled her request for confidential funds, Makabayan lawmakers on Friday continued calling on Duterte to explain and be accountable for the P125-million spent on confidential activities in just 11 days last year.
“Before we get to talks on anything, we need to see whatever happened with the confidential funds spent because that’s what the people want to know,” Gabriela Women’s party representative Arlene Brosas said. – Rappler.com