MANILA- The impeachment bid against President Rodrigo Duterte will not prosper due to lack of evidence, a lawmaker said Monday.
Kabayan Party-list Rep. Harry Roque urged Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano to withdraw his complaint against the President to avoid “political turmoil that would paralyze law-making in the House.”
“I reiterate my previous statement that the impeachment complaint against President Duterte is bound to fail, as I believe more case building is needed for it to prosper, particularly on extralegal killings,” Roque said in a statement.
“I do appreciate, however, the fact that Representative Alejano and Magdalo have resorted to constitutional means this time to unseat the sitting president and are no longer threatening to blow up buildings like they did in the past,” he added.
Roque made the statement as he appealed for Lenten meditation and reflection in the wake of impeachment charges being reported.
The President on Sunday said he "wouldn't be surprised" if Robredo had a hand in the impeachment case filed against him by Alejano.
He later told the Filipino community in Myanmar that Robredo appears to be "rushing" to become president.
Robredo's camp has denied working with Duterte's rivals to claim the presidency, saying it is not part of the vice president's plan.
'NOT BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST'
The lawmaker also weighed in on the planned impeachment complaint against Robredo, saying though there are enough numbers in the administration to impeach the vice president, her video message serves as an insufficient ground for alleged betrayal of public trust.
“For the impeachment complaint against her to succeed in the Senate, the complainants must have other evidence to show that she intends to remove the President from office in order to succeed him,” Roque said.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez last week floated the idea of impeaching Robredo for supposedly betraying public trust when she criticized the administration's war on drugs in a video message to a side event of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
Roque said the challenge for critics of Robredo who want to convict her in the Senate is to link her with Alejano’s complaint against Duterte and the looming complaint to be submitted to the International Criminal Court.
“I would like to appeal to the Speaker that while the majority has the numbers to impeach the Vice President Robredo in the House, the House of Representatives should also insure conviction in the Senate to safeguard integrity and reputation of the House, and this, too, entails case building,” he said.
Robredo's camp has blasted Alavrez's statements as "baseless and irresponsible."