Robredo camp worried over fairness of possible impeachment


Posted at Mar 21 2017 11:29 AM

MANILA - The lawyer of Vice President Leni Robredo is worried about the fairness of a possible impeachment proceeding in the House of Representatives when the Speaker himself has said he is mulling impeachment charges against her.

In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Atty. Barry Gutierrez said Robredo's statements referred to in the impeachment complaint filed by Atty. Oliver Lozano and Melchor Chavez are "pretty shallow" to be a basis for impeachment.

What is "worrisome," he said, is that the two lawyers are affiliated with the Marcos family, whose member, former Senator Bongbong Marcos, lost to Robredo in the May 2016 elections.

On top of this, he said, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who will weigh the evidence against the vice-president if an impeachment complaint is filed, is "already saying that he thinks this is basis for impeachment" even before a complaint is actually filed.

"Our concern here is, how can we expect a fair process in the House, when the leader of the House itself, who presides over a 266-person majority is already weighing in and saying that this is his position?" he said.

Alvarez last week said he is mulling possible impeachment raps against Robredo for allegedly betraying public trust when she sent a video message to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs and criticizing the administration's war on drugs.

Gutierrez also described as "improper" Alvarez's refusal to call Robredo “vice president" in an interview.

The lawyer said "it is up to individual people whether they will offer respect to a person or not." He said their camp would not force Alvarez to apologize or anything of the like.

"If Speaker Alvarez wants to be a child and act like a child, he’s old enough I think to realize whether what he is doing is right or wrong. We won’t force him to do anything," he said.

"We won’t call him out on it, but it’s clear to us that I think there’s something improper with that," he added.

In an interview with radio DZMM on Monday, Alvarez said he could not exactly call Robredo the country's second-in-command because it's not yet definite if she really won the May elections, where she won by a hairline over former Senator Bongbong Marcos.