MANILA—As majority of the members of the House of Representatives are supporting President Rodrigo Duterte, an election lawyer believed that the impeachment complaint filed against the Chief Executive will not prosper.
“The move to impeach President Duterte and remove him from office is, at this time, an impossible dream,” said Atty. Romulo Macalintal in a statement.
He added, “It will never happen and will not even reach the first base, so to speak, at the House of Representatives (HR) which will determine if the complaint for impeachment is sufficient in form and substance.”
For the impeachment complaint to be approved, it needs one-third of the 292 members of HR, or 97 votes. After getting the needed votes, it will be referred to the Senate for trial.
It was reported that 260 representatives currently supporting the President, and only 42 lawmakers left to support moves to impeach him.
“With the tremendous support the President gets from the House leadership and his steady high approval and trust ratings, his impeachment and removal from office is a long shot and is not likely to prosper. It is just a waste of time,” Macalintal said.
“It would be for the highest interest of public service that this impeachment case be dismissed outright by the allies of the President instead of prolonging the agony of the complainant,” he added.
At the same time, the election lawyer noted that eventual dismissal of the impeachment will give Duterte an entire year that he will not face the danger of any impeachment in view of the “one-year ban rule”.
Under the constitution, “no impeachment proceedings could be instituted against the same official more than once within a period of one year”.
“Our representatives have better things to do than this partisan action which, like a vagrant, has no visible means of political support,” he added.
Last week, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano filed the first impeachment complaint against the President for possible violation of the 1987 Constitution, engagement in bribery and several high crimes under Sections 2 and 3 of the Charter.