MANILA—Senate Pres. Aquilino Pimentel III on Monday said the decision of the House justice committee to reject the impeachment complaint filed against Pres. Rodrigo Duterte was “expected”.
“Impeachment…is a mix of politics and law so because there are many supporters of Pres. Duterte in the House, we consider that to be expected,” Pimentel, an ally of the President, told reporters in an interview.
Pimentel, however, said that he was sure that the House panel had a “good reason” to reject the impeachment complaint.
“Since there needs to be a legal basis, I’m sure they have a point. I’m sure they have a good reason why they rejected the impeachment complaint,” Pimentel said.
“Maybe it was not sufficient in form, it is the wrong form, or maybe they found it insufficient in substance when they read it. This is not worth our time, to waste time on such a complaint for impeachment,” he added.
Although he has not yet seen the impeachment complaint, the Senate President also said that there was no other choice but to respect it because it had already been examined thoroughly.
It may be recalled that Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano sought the ouster of Duterte for his state policy on illegal drugs which allegedly resulted in a spate of summary executions and extrajudicial killings; his alleged links to vigilante killings by the Davao Death Squad; and his supposed PHP2.2 billion hidden wealth.
He also filed a supplemental complaint regarding Duterte’s failure to assert the country’s sovereign and maritime rights over disputed territories with China including Benham Rise, Panatag Shoal and the rest of the West Philippine Sea.
However, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon and Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro declared the complaint “insufficient in substance” despite it being found to be “sufficient in form.”
Leachon and Castro’s motion was approved with a total of 42 votes.