Magdalo Rep. Alejano hints at possible shift of alliances in Congress

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2017 09:30 PM

Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano

MANILA — Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano on Saturday hinted at a possible shift of alliances within the "supermajority" in the House of Representatives, following the impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte and the vote for the revival of the death penalty.

"It is a possibility . . . Even those who voted yes (to the death penalty), ramdam na ramdam ho namin ang sama ng loob nila dahil pine-pwersa sila at tine-threaten," Alejano said in a DZMM interview.

(We can really feel that they're upset because they're being coerced and threatened.)

The House of Representatives is dominated by a "supermajority" composed mostly of lawmakers from Duterte's PDP-Laban party.

Alejano added that lawmakers, who were stripped of their committee chairmanship after voting against the death penalty bill, may also consider the impeachment complaint.

Alejano explained that the current House leadership tends to force members into following its principles. 

"Dito kasi medyo sagasa, takutan, brasuhan, parang ginagaya nila yung istilo ng presidente so kahit na may bumotong yes ramdam mo yung sama ng loob," he said.

(There's a tendency to use scare tactics on people and strong-arm them. They're all acting like the president so, even if some voted yes, you can feel they did it begrudgingly.)

Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte at the House of Representatives and accused the president of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, bribery and other high crimes in relation to the government's war on drugs.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the impeachment complaint appears to be part of a destabilization plot against the president, which Alejano denied.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expressed doubts over the strength of the impeachment complaint against Duterte, saying the allegations are difficult to prove.

"I doubt kung makakarating sa plenaryo yan kasi tinignan ko yung allegations . . . ang hirap patunayan niyan," Alvarez told DZMM.

(I doubt if it would reach the plenary because I was looking at the allegations and those are difficult to prove.)

If approved by the House, the complaint will be heard by the Senate, which will convene as an impeachment court. A two-thirds vote of the Senate tribunal is needed to convict an impeached official.

Former President Joseph Estrada was the last chief executive to be impeached by Congress, following corruption allegations in 2000. His trial was cut short by a military-backed popular uprising the following year that led to his ouster.