Palace denies interfering in Duterte impeachment


Posted at May 15 2017 05:00 PM | Updated as of May 15 2017 05:27 PM

MANILA – Malacañang on Monday said it did not interfere in the impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte which was junked by his allies at the House of Representatives.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte respects Congress, a co-equal branch of the Executive, and does not interfere in the “political exercise” of impeachment.

“Neither is he beholden to any group and he remains focused on governance,” Abella said in a statement.

In a widely expected move, Duterte’s allies in the House Justice Committee voted down the impeachment complaints filed by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano against the chief executive.

Forty-two lawmakers voted that the complaint is insufficient in substance, but sufficient in form.
Abella said the complaint against the President was based on “rehashed, trumped-up charges aimed at undermining the duly constituted government.”

Chief Presidential Legal Salvador Panelo also criticized Alejano, saying the latter’s complaint was only intended to besmirch the President’s reputation and “get a three-minute fame.”

In his complaint, Alejano said Duterte should be impeached for the killings in the war on drugs and by the Davao Death Squad, for his alleged ill-gotten wealth as contained in his family's allegedly hidden bank accounts, and his stance on the Philippine sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea and Benham Rise.