Refusal by members of the House of Representatives to endorse an impeachment complaint against Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo proves that the complaint is baseless, her camp said on Wednesday.
Ibarra Gutierrez, legal adviser of the Vice President, made the response a day after the Impeach Leni Team failed to get a member of the House of Representatives to endorse their impeachment complaint as required by the 1987 Constitution.
The Impeach Leni Team accused Robredo of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust and graft and corruption.
It said the Vice President turned her back on the people when she criticized before the United Nations the government’s anti-drug war that she said left 7,000 summarily executed.
The team said she committed graft and corruption when she misdeclared her Meralco (Manila Electric Co.) assets in her Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) and when she misused Home Development Mutual (Pag-Ibig) Fund money in sponsoring a convention in the United States on empowerment, a subject not related to housing.
Gutierrez said in a statement, “Their claims in their impeachment complaint are lies. The Vice President’s track record in public service is untainted. The government did not spend anything during her trip to the United States in August 2016. This is not funded by the HUDCC or any agency under the HUDCC’s ambit.”
Robredo briefly headed the HUDCC or the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
“Saying the truth about our country is not betrayal, but fulfilling a mandate to protect the lives and fight for the rights of our people. The fact that not a single lawmaker wants to endorse the impeachment complaint against the Vice President shows that their claims are weak and baseless,” Gutierrez added.
The 1987 Charter provides that “a verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution or endorsement by any member thereof, which will be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper committee within three session days thereafter.”
“We are not surprised that there are people who are after the impeachment of the Vice President. This is a part of the widespread campaign to steal her mandate, which was given to her by the people [in the]last elections,” Gutierrez said.
Robredo’s fellow Liberal Party member and Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat of Ifugao warned his colleagues against the political adventurism of what he described as the questionable Impeach Leni Team.
“Much like the extrajudicial killings, this attempt to file an impeachment complaint [against]the Vice President abuses discretion. Without a willing endorser, it appears that the impeachment complaint against the Vice President is being peddled among members of the House like some cheap product, in the hope that someone, anyone, would allow themselves to be used for a publicity stunt,” Baguilat said in a statement.
“I urge my colleagues to not put their name to something that is patently baseless, and I would like to caution the group behind the impeachment complaint against using any member of Congress to further their cause,” he added.
Baguilat then assured Robredo of his support and vowed to block attempts to oust the Vice President.
“I am firm in my belief that she is doing her job to serve the Filipino people, this despite the concerted efforts to prevent her from doing all that she can for the nation. I appeal to the sense of fairness, objectivity and public duty of my other colleagues in the House, to see this strained impeachment complaint for what it truly is: an insidious campaign against the Vice President,” he said.
“Ultimately, this is a half-baked attempt to destabilize our country’s leadership, especially considering the President’s command to put a stop to [this and other]complaints,” Baguilat added. LLANESCA T. PANTI