‘Go ahead, impeach me’ – President

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday dared arch-nemesis Sen. Leila de Lima to lead an impeachment case against him following his defense of the policemen who killed Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
“They can go ahead. Bakit pa mas maraming daldal? Sige na, impeach na… Hayaan mo sila [Why is there so much talk? Go ahead, impeach me],” the President told reporters in Legazpi City, where he attended groundbreaking ceremonies for the planned Bicol International Airport.

Duterte on Wednesday defended the policemen who killed Espinosa during a November 5 raid of the Baybay City sub-provincial jail, despite the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that the killing was a “rubout.”

The President said he was more inclined to believe the police, whom he had ordered to kill drug suspects who resist arrest.

“Whatever the police say, that’s the truth for me. The NBI said it was murder. The police said, ‘Sir, he fought back.’ I believe the police. Why would I sacrifice the police for that?” he said.


The NBI filed cases against the police officers, members of the Eastern Visayas Criminal Investigation and Detection Group led by Supt. Marvin Marcos, on December 2.

Duterte’s chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo dismissed de Lima’s claim that Duterte’s declaration was tantamount to “betrayal of public trust,” an impeachable offense.

“Of course not. Why should it be an impeachable offense? It’s not even an offense,” Panelo told reporters.
Panelo pointed out that the NBI findings were not enough to prove the policemen murdered Espinosa.

“It doesn’t mean the NBI is correct because the court will have to decide whether they are correct or not. The presumption of innocence applies to all the accused in this case,” he said.

‘Legal means’

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald de la Rosa said on Thursday the President won’t circumvent legal proceedings in helping 24 policemen accused of murdering Espinosa.

Clarifying President Duterte’s statement on Wednesday that he would not allow the policemen to go to jail, de la Rosa said: “What he meant was that he would find ways through legal means.”

“He doesn’t want policemen jailed because the police operating in the war on drugs will be demoralized,” he said in Filipino.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar echoed this, saying Duterte was merely boosting the morale of the PNP.

“The recent pronouncements of the President pertaining to the PNP, standing by his men, are critical to maintaining their high morale, with the end in view of succeeding in the anti-drug campaign,” Andanar said in a statement.

“It should not be misinterpreted to mean that the President will intervene in investigations or any legal proceedings in order to exculpate erring cops,” he added.

In a news conference, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag clarified that the President did not pardon the policemen involved in the killing.

“That is entirely not true. The support that the President stated … may come in the form of legal assistance,” Banaag told reporters.

Banaag also dismissed the claim of Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th that Duterte could have masterminded the killing of Espinosa, whom the President accused of involvement in illegal drugs in August.

“That’s not fair, that’s not true… What the President said was that … he was the one who declared the war against drugs,” Banaag said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd said Duterte may have been using “hyperbole” and was merely
expressing his opinion.

“So there is nothing wrong. I see nothing wrong … The President is merely exercising his constitutional right to free expression,” he added.

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10 Comments

  1. Murder is murder…. if you protect somebody who is committing murder then you are guilty the same. Can you murder your neighbor and just say they were a drug user and wanted to fight with you… Can you do it if they are confined in a jail cell… like tie a dog to a tree then shoot it… tell people it want to bite you. Murder is murder. How can these people go to church? How can the president of a country disregard the investigation of its top criminal investigation department? No family is safe, no person is safe, Comrade Duterte is acting like Kim Jung Un of North Korea and not the president of a free society.

  2. The WORLD will impeach Duterte. He is destroying the Philippines for his perverted ideas. The Philippines people are too brainwashed by the con-man for now, but Du30 will go down as a hated criminal, far worse than Marcos. Believe it.

  3. Even before he was elected president, he warned the people of the Philippines not to vote for him unless they want to see a bloody war on drugs. He said it would be bloody. He said he will kill 100,000 drug addicts and criminals. He also said he is going to feed them to the fishes in Manila Bay. Its only been 6 months and 5,000 drug addicts and criminals dead so far. He is not done by a long shot. He hasn’t even started feeding dead people to the fishes in Manila Bay yet. Stop complaining. When he reaches the 100,000 mark and still going, then you all need to start protesting.

  4. Duterte is indeed tough, decisive and no amount of opinion can convince him otherwise. He is prepaed to stand or fall on his style of leadership.

  5. Those who were always finding fouls against our new president was insane & greedy about power from their counterpart in the government.

    SORRY to those trying to impeach the president because they can’t…The president knows what he is doing…he understand LAW. His focus is for the sake of Filipino who suffer from past poor government.

  6. Duterte’s cabinet ministers again are doing damage control to Duterte’s earlier pronouncement of him favoring the police who killed Espinosa in jail.Just a thought, was
    Espinosa resisting arrest when he was physically inside the jail? How could that be possible?
    Common sense dictates that Duterte’s pronouncements are what they are.The president meant what he said. Why were his words being sugar coated by his cabinet? Are the Filipinos really that naive and ignorant they can’t understand Duterte’s language? These cabinet ministers are obviously lying to their teeth. They are only fooling themselves.

  7. Spinning (changing) what Duterte said is a full time job.

    This president doesn’t have to worry about being impeached, that would require a congress that had a sense of honor and a desire to uphold the constitution and the law. The Philippines sadly only has a rubber stamping congress only interested in enriching themselves.

    • That go signal is part of the plan. Let the criminals kill each other. Let the corrupt police officers cover their tracks by killing the drug dealers and criminals. Let the drug dealers retaliate and kill the corrupt police officers. He promised to kill 100,000 and he’s only got 5 years and 6 months left to do it. He can’t do it alone.