Party-list groups thumb down Duterte, Robredo ouster

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2017 04:41 PM

President Duterte greets Vice President Leni Robredo at her first Cabinet meeting in Malacañan Palace. Malacanang photo

MANILA - The Party-List Coalition on Thursday said it will not back the pending impeachment complaints against President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo. 

This, following an earlier announcement that Liberal Party members will also reject any impeachment complaint against Duterte and Robredo at this time.

"Pinag-uusapan namin ito sa coalition. We will not be supporting any impeachment for the President or Vice President because it will be very unproductive," said Cooperative NATCCO party-list Rep. Anthony Bravo in a press conference. 

"There are more pressing issues. Kung magkakaroon ng impeachment, made-derail ang activities. Made-defocus ang legislators." 
 
AKO Bicol, which hails from Robredo's home region in Bicol, echoed Bravo's sentiment. 

"'Di lang nagsalita iyung iba, pero marami kami na against any impeachment of any kind. 'Di ako pro-Leni, 'di ako pro-Dterte, I'm pro-people," AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe said. 

Batocabe said backing Robredo's impeachment would be a "death sentence" to his party because the Vice President remains popular among many Bicolanos. 

He also expressed confidence that the complaint against Duterte will fail even the first hurdle of satisfying form and substance as the Congress is dominated by the allies of the President. 

Batocabe also reminded his fellow congressmen that as representatives of the voters, they must be sensitive to the wishes of the public. 

'How can you oust a very popular president that enjoys 71 percent rating? 'Di ba popularity rating, may mandato ng tao, binoto ng tao -- aalisin mo 'yung mandato. In like manner, how can you oust a vice president na malakas rin ang popularity rating na binoto rin ng tao," he said. 

The congressman encouraged his colleagues to be objective. 
 
Duterte is also facing an impeachment complaint over his controversial drug campaign and his position on the Philippines' maritime row with China. 

The impeachment complaint against Robredo meanwhile has been submitted to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, but has not been endorsed