The House minority on Wednesday told Vice President Leni Robredo to be more careful with what she says, after her speech on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines was used in an impeachment complaint against her.
"While the impeachment complaint against VP Leni has not yet been endorsed in the lower House, we highly encourage her to be more circumspect in her actions especially in the international stage,” Minority Floor Leader Danilo Suarez said.
Suarez said the impeachment complaint against Robredo was due to her alleged betrayal of public trust when she gave a video message at a side event of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
Further allegations stated in the complaint were misstatement of items in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth and misuse of PAG-IBIG funds during her term as the Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
"Nung ni-review namin 'yung statement sinabi niya 7,000 were killed while the letter asserted only 2,000 died in legitimate police operations. Ang point ko lang when you address a body like the UN dapat ang figures mo ay accurate,” he said.
According to the Philippine National Police, 2,692 suspects have been killed so far in anti-drug operations.
They said unidentified gunmen have murdered another 1,847 people in drug-related incidents, while 5,691 other violent deaths are under investigation.
Suarez called for the country's highest officials to put up a united stand.
"It is known that the VP and the President belong to rival political camps, to the detriment of our nation’s reputation where we, as a people, should project a united stand despite political differences. Her pronouncements, unfortunately, caused further dissonance in a government that should have been working together,” he said.
The House Justice Committee on Monday dismissed the impeachment complaint against President Duterte, while complaints against Robredo and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales still have no endorsers.
Suarez said impeachment has been used as a tool for a power grab.
“This says a lot about our nation’s behavior, as we seem to allow the vicious cycle of impeachment, as a means to grab and return to power. In impeaching the President, for example, are those in support of his removal in a position to speak for 8 out 10 Filipinos? The answer is obvious,” he said.”
Suarez urged Carpio-Morales to account for the cases she has filed as she is now being criticized for allegedly only filing cases against political enemies of the Aquino administration.
"Siguro the Ombudsman can now come up with a reply even without the filing of an impeachment that indeed there were complaints or allegations. Puwede niya sabihin [na] we find no justifiable evidence for those charges to be filed to the Sandigan," he said.
Suarez said that the Aquino administration's Justice department left 120 cases unacted upon and unfiled before the Sandiganbayan.
"Sabi ni Justice Aguirre, there were about 120 cases na ‘di ginalaw during those 6 years. Sa 120, I did not ask, I don't know if all those 120 are valid and sufficient to be filed at the Sandigan,” he said.