MANILA—Malacañang officials on Thursday dismissed the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte saying that it is part of a larger scheme to discredit the administration.
Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano filed the complaint at the House of Representatives earlier in the day.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella noted that the President have not committed any crime or violation considered as grounds for an impeachment.
“First and foremost, no treason, betrayal of trust, bribery, graft and corruption, high crime and culpable violation of the Constitution has been committed. We reiterated that the so-called extrajudicial [killings] are not state-sponsored and the President has made sure that he will not turn a blind eye to all uniformed personnel who violate and abuse their power,” he said.
“However, having said that, it does seem like part of a larger scheme of things. It just seems rather dramatic that everything seems to be so coordinated at this stage with acts of trying to… discredit the administration and trying to throw it in doubt,” Abella said.
In the meantime, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said that the impeachment complaint filed against the President is utterly baseless and will not prosper.
“There being no basis in fact and in law, it (complaint) will not prosper. Every official act and utterrance of the President is pursuant to his constitutional mandate to serve and protect the people as head of government,” he said in a statement.
Panelo said the complaint is only intended as a black propaganda against President Duterte to besmirch his reputation.
But like any earlier attempts at destroying the credibility of Duterte, the complaint bound to fail, the Palace official.
“Like other groundless and malicious accusations against the President on his integrity, the impeachment complaint will not fly, nor will it make a dent on the overwhelming popularity of PRRD,” he said.
“Such filing will not deter his resolve to continue vigorously his war against the illegal drug trade, criminality and corruption as well as to bring economic prosperity to the country by demolishing the obstacles that shackle it,” Panelo said.
Meanwhile, Abella stressed that even if the House of Representatives is ruled by administration allies, the President does not meddle with their actions.
“The President always allows his allies so-called to act independently of him. He’s always respected the independence of his so-called colleagues. He has never manipulated in that sense, the way political intrigues are usually sown,” he said.
“Whatever the noise is about the way he acts. He’s always respected the independence of his so-called colleagues,” Abella said.