Liberal Party won't back impeach bids vs Duterte, Robredo

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2017 10:16 AM

MANILA - The Liberal Party will not be backing impeachment cases filed against President Rodrigo Duterte or Vice-President Leni Robredo, according to House Deputy Speaker and LP stalwart Miro Quimbo. 

Robredo met with other members of the Liberal Party amid a looming impeachment case against her, but her party-mates in the supermajority still won't bolt the administration fold.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had raised the specter of impeaching Robredo following her statement to the United Nations criticizing the alleged extra judicial killings in the Philippines.

President Duterte is himself facing an impeachment case.

Quimbo confirmed the meeting took place on Wednesday and they agreed not to support any impeachment complaints.

"We eventually discussed the issue of impeachment. We came to a common consensus on the following matters: we strongly believe that the taking up by the [House of Representatives] of any impeachment complaint today will only be divisive as well as polarizing," he said in a statement.

"It will only serve to distract us from the many important matters that Congress should be giving priority to. For these very imperative reasons, the LP House majority caucus members present categorically took a position that we will not support any of the impeachment complaints filed against the leaders of the land."

Likewise, Quimbo revealed that they are standing by Robredo, the highest-ranking elected member of their party. 

"We likewise reiterated our strongest commitment of support to the Vice President, our party leader. We will have subsequent meetings before congress opens in May to update LP members who were out of town and thus could not attend the meeting," he said.

The Deputy Speaker made it clear that they are sticking with the supermajority.

Quimbo added: "The statement is made in response to queries regarding the LP meeting yesterday, 20 April 2017, with Vice President Leni Robredo. I confirm that around 15 LP members belonging to the HOR majority caucus met with the Vice President today."

The lawmaker said the meeting with Robredo was originally scheduled to take place during the second week of March before Congress went on break on March 15. He said the meeting was moved due to schedule conflicts.

He said the LP discussed administrative party matters including payment of party dues and proposed schedules for the second half of the year.

The former administration party has seen most of its members leave for the President's PDP-Laban after the loss of their standard bearer in the last elections.