MANILA – Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Wednesday insisted that the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte at the House of Representatives is sufficient in form and substance.
Lagman, a member of the Liberal Party (LP), made this assertion after Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo said in a news briefing that LP members at the lower chamber would not back the complaint against the president.
“There has been no meeting called by the Liberal Party leadership among its members in the House and in the Senate on the Duterte impeachment complaint,” Lagman said in a statement.
“In particular, the LP contingent in the authentic minority has not been consulted either individually or collectively on Quimbo's statement that the LPs in the House are not supporting the impeachment complaint against Duterte.”
For an impeachment complaint to prosper at the House of Representatives, the lower chamber must determine it to be sufficient in form and substance. The votes of at least one-third of the members of the House are also needed.
The impeachment complaint, filed by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, accuses Duterte of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, bribery and other high crimes.
Duterte's allies and political analysts say the complaint has a slim chance of hurdling the lower chamber, but Alejano and fellow Magdalo member Senator Antonio Trillanes IV are not losing hope.
Alejano's complaint centered on the thousands of deaths linked to the government’s war on drugs and Duterte’s alleged role in the Davao Death Squad.
The Magdalo group is also mulling a supplemental complaint against Duterte over his much-criticized response on the alleged Chinese encroachment on Benham Rise and reports that Beijing is also planning to build a radar station in Scarborough Shoal.
China has since denied it is building an environmental monitoring station on Scarborough Shoal.