• Impeach complaint vs Duterte doomed

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    The House justice panel will immediately dismiss the impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte, allies of the President said on Sunday.

    Rep. Rey Umali, chairman of the House justice panel, and Representatives LRay Villafuerte of Camarines Sur and Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte, made the stance a day before the House tackles the impeachment complaint filed by Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list.

    Alejano accused Duterte of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution in connection with the killing of thousands of drug suspects, his alleged failure to assert the country’s sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and his alleged undeclared wealth amounting to P2 billion, among others.

    The justice panel will determine if the complaint is sufficient in form and substance this week. If it passes these two hurdles, it will determine if the complaint has sufficient grounds.

    “We will give the complainant ample time to present and articulate the issues he raised. The process will be short because of the lack of support to the complaint,” Umali said in a text message.

    “The impeachment complaint filed against President Duterte is an exercise in futility, given his overwhelming support not only in Congress but from the Filipino people. My peers in the House of the Representatives are politically astute enough to realize that no impeachment complaint will gain traction among the people as reflected in the public trust and satisfaction ratings polls on the President,” Villafuerte said.

    “We need this impeachment complaint like a hole in the head. I believe that we lawmakers could better spend our time right now crafting reform laws that sustain growth and reduce poverty. Let’s not be distracted by this divisive political exercise. Instead, let us allow our President to move on with the business of government to serve and protect the people,” he added.

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