MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo said Tuesday it was "too early" for the country to go through a "divisive" impeachment process barely a year after a bitterly fought election.
Robredo is facing an impeachment complaint for criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war in a video message for a United Nations narcotics conference.
A separate impeachment complaint was filed against the President over deaths linked to his anti-narcotics campaign and alleged undisclosed wealth.
"Kaya sa akin, pareho kami ng ating Pangulo: Parang masyado pang maaga. Nanggagaling pa lang tayo sa isang political exercise, lilipat na naman tayo sa isang political exercise," told DZMM.
(I share the President's view: It's too early. We have just come from a political exercise, then we are moving to another political exercise.)
Robredo said past impeachment processes have divided the nation.
"Alam natin kung gaano siya ka-divisive. Alam natin kung gaano siya nakaka-polarize ng supporters," she said.
(We know how divisive it can get. We know how it can polarize supporters.)
"At the end of the day, yung bansa yung hindi magbe-benefit."
(At the end of the day, the country will not benefit.)
The last impeachment trial concluded in 2012 with the conviction of then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was accused of not being truthful in his Statements of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs).
In 2001, the impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada abruptly ended after his allies blocked what prosecutors said was key evidence. This sparked a military-backed uprising that led to his ouster.
TO INHIBIT WHEN LP TALKS ABOUT DUTERTE IMPEACHMENT
Robredo said the Liberal Party (LP) may meet once members return from their respective provinces regarding the impeachment complaint against Duterte, but she will not take part in the discussion.
"Pag mabuo namin at nandito na ang lahat, upuan, siguro pag-aralan kung ano yung finile, pero siguro hindi na ako magpa-participate doon kasi parang unethical na kabahagi ako noon kasi parating pagduduhan na meron akong interes," she said.
(When we are complete and everyone is here, we will sit down and talk about it, maybe study what had been filed, but I probably would not participate there because it seems unethical that I'm part of that because people may doubt that I have an interest in it.)
She also said the few LP lawmakers whom she was able to talk to were not fully in favor of the impeachment proceeding as they believe it will consume time that should be used for more important legislation.